New indicator for comparing the energy performance of CO2utilization concepts

Wouter Schakel, Cora Fernández-Dacosta, Mijndert Van Der Spek, Andrea Ramirez Ramirez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


CO 2 utilization is increasingly considered a greenhouse gas abatement strategy alternatively to CO 2 storage. Existing indicators that assess the performance of CO 2 utilization options often provide an incomplete perspective and are unsuitable to compare different utilization options with different functionality (e.g. plastics and fuels). This study introduces a new performance indicator for CO 2 utilization options: Specific Primary Energy Consumption per unit of Fossil feedstock Replaced (SPECFER). This indicator, expressed in MJ/MJ, provides a proxy for the energy efficiency of which CO 2 conversion options can replace fossil feedstock required in conventional processes. Three CO 2 utilization case studies (CO 2 based methanol, polyols and dimethyl ether) are used to show the application and effectiveness of the SPECFER indicator. Among the case studies, only CO 2 conversion into polyol appears particularly efficient (SPECFER of 0.05 MJ/MJ), while the other options are not (SPECFER of > 1 MJ/MJ). The paper shows that the SPECFER indicator adds key insights compared to conventi onal indicators to the effectiveness of CO 2 utilization options and is a promising indicator complementary to CO 2 emissions reduction or life cycle greenhouse gas reduction potential. The SPECFER thus improves the understanding of the performance of CO 2 utilization and enables the possibility to distinctly compare different CO 2 converting utilization technologies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)278-288
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of CO2 Utilization
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • CO utilisation 2
  • Comparative assessment
  • Energy performance
  • Indicator development


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