It is no secret the manufacturers can save money and reduce emissions if they can find ways to convert CO2 into chemicals valuable in other process uses. A research project from Praxair and Novomer seeks to do that.

The Department of Energy’s (DOE) Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO) awarded Novomer and Praxair $5 million to build and validate a semi-integrated laboratory-scale process to convert CO2 to chemicals valuable in other process uses. Praxair developed systems to convert CO2 to carbon monoxide (CO) using a solid oxide electrolyzer (SOE). Novomer uses the CO from Praxair’s process to convert ethylene oxide to an intermediate chemical that can be converted to acrylic acid and succinic anhydride, which can be used in things like plastic and pharmaceuticals, respectively.

The goal is to combine these two systems into a process that could provide the chemical industry with a low energy, cost-effective method of producing chemical intermediates. The research has applications for industries such as paint and coating, food, textiles and polymers.

Praxair and Novomer have demonstrated success in developing and operating a fully automated laboratory-scale unit and a fully automated pilot-plant unit.