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This study analyses the economic and environmental effects of the use of CO2 as a carbon source for polymer products such as packaging, construction material or medical products (Carbon Capture and Utilisation). Thereby, the whole value chain, from the CO2 source to the market-ready product is considered.

Material flow cost accounting is combined with environmental indicators to assess 28 possible CO2-based value chains. Data envelopment analysis is used to compare the alternatives and to identify the most efficient examples considering production costs, CO2 emissions, energy demand and fossil carbon use. In all cases, a significant reduction of CO2 emissions is achieved compared to the conventional alternative.

Considering the studied assessment indicators, the use of CO2 can already lead to the same or similar overall performance compared to fossil-based production. The choice of the right product and value chain set-up is decisive, with economies of scale playing a significant role. The results further show that costs and benefits are currently imbalanced along the value chain, wherefore effective cooperation is key to achieving market readiness.

Find the study here.