About this Research Topic
Following the COP21 conference, most of the industrialized countries around the world have agreed to drastically reduce their GHG emissions. Such commitment however requires dedicated efforts both in R&D as well as on the industrial side to move forward, fast and at large scale disruptive technologies that will allow optimizing the utilization of renewable alternatives while significantly reducing carbon dioxide emissions.
E-fuels and chemicals are compounds that could be considered as energy carrier or green electricity chemical storage systems. When producing renewable electricity and in many cases, such as for photovoltaic and wind power, the electricity production peaks somewhere during the day whilst some other moments produce minimal amounts of energy. During the peak periods the energy is abundant and should be stored. One of the obvious approach to do so is to store the energy in chemical batteries while another would be to store the energy in chemicals. While batteries can store energy, and produce it when needed, conversion of this energy to chemicals such as methanol and methane could open new market and store electricity in such a way that it could be used for other purposes if needed but could be converted back to electricity if needed. Production of hydrogen is also another option but is still technologically constrained by the complexity of handling hydrogen combined to the actual lack of available infrastructure allowing storage and transport of this green compound. Carbon hence remains a good vehicle for the storage of green electricity and amongst the different sources of renewable carbon available on the planet, carbon dioxide is one of the most controversial. Utilization of carbon dioxide as a carbon source could hence allow converting a major global problem into a valuable opportunity. Carbon dioxide could therefore be a suitable feedstock for storing renewable electricity but could as well represent a building block for the production of other organic compounds through different processes.
This Research Topic will focus on disruptive technologies, either at industrial or at pilot scale, allowing a competitive alternative for chemical storage of green electricity or for the utilization of CO2 as a building block for the production of renewable commodities such as fuels and chemicals. Original research, perspective and review articles that fit the scope of the collection are welcome.
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.