Electrochemical Polymer Precursor Generation (EPPG)

Period of Performance: 01/01/2012 - 12/31/2012


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Sustainable Innovations, LLC
111 Roberts Street Suite J
East Hartford, CT 06108
Principal Investigator, Firm POC


Continued global dependence on fossil fuels and concomitant release of CO2 has driven a societal push to mitigate CO2 emissions, largely through various means of sequestration. But implementation of carbon sequestration costs money and there are still unresolved environmental concerns, therefore, other approaches to mitigating net CO2 production and release are required. In an ideal model, emitted CO2 could be used as a feedstock for producing solid products and chemicals, which are inherently stable for long periods of time and can be continually recycled without significant CO2 emissions. The intrinsic value of these products, combined with a low cost way of producing them transforms the economic equation such that a societal problem becomes an opportunity. This project focuses on the development of an Electrochemical Polymer Precursor Generation (EPPG) system that will efficiently generate carboxylic acids which serve as precursors to polymer synthesis. When integrated with clean electricity sources such as renewables, this system can cost effectively transform waste CO2 molecules into valuable products at the industrial scale. Phase I is focused on the development of the fundamental process technology while Phase II is devoted to integration of this technology into a viable system package. In Phase I the fundamental process to convert CO2 to polymer precursors was validated using laboratory hardware. Laboratory tests provided critical parametric data that permitted a techno-economic evaluation of a large-scale concept and showed that 100% conversion efficiency was achievable. Phase II will build upon the success of Phase I by scaling the electrochemical cell hardware and optimizing operating conditions to assure high efficiency, long-term operation. A fully integrated system package having the capability of producing 1 kg/dy of carboxylic acids will be built and tested in this program. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits: Development of an EPPG system provides a means of effectively transforming waste CO2 into useful commodity chemicals used in the manufacture of durable goods. By generating the precursors for synthesis of polymers and other products, it reduces our need for hydrocarbon resources.