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As we collectively tread the path toward climate neutrality, the development of sustainable chemicals and fuels has become paramount.

DAC offers a decentralised, reliable, and clean supply of CO₂, thereby enabling the production of essential molecules even in remote areas blessed with abundant wind and solar energy resources.

The new article “The Economics of Electrochemical Syngas Production via Direct Air Capture” shows the economics of the various configurations to produce syngas using CO₂ from Direct Air Capture (DAC) including the full value chain: DAC, CO₂ conversion, and downstream processing to purify the product and recycle unreacted CO₂, as well as the levelized cost of syngas for all configurations.

This work demonstrates that, amongst the different routes to produce syngas via low-temperature electrocatalytic CO₂ reduction (eCO2R), the route integrating capture with conversion is more economical than the sequential routes, although differences are modest and context-dependent. The poorer cell performance of the integrated route, leading to higher electricity costs, was found to be more than offset by cost gains at the level DAC and electrolyser outlet downstream processing.

These results show again the importance of tackling as a priority the electricity cost when it comes to the production of syngas from DAC-CO₂.

The study was co-written by our SAC member Deepak Pant, Senior Scientist at VITO; Pieterjan Debergh, Research and Development Professional at VITO; Mohammed Nazeer Khan, PhD, Research and Development Professional at VITO; Yuvraj Y. Birdja, Research Scientist and Project Manager at VITO; Oriol Gutiérrez-Sánchez, R&D Carbon Capture Manager at Umicore; Metin Bulut, Business Development Manager at VITO.

Please find the paper here.