Braskem Partners with Northwestern University to Develop CO2 Conversion Technology

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Brasken and Northwestern University will develop a co-electrolysis-based technology to convert CO2 from industrial operations.

Brasken and Northwestern University have announced a collaboration to develop a system for converting industrially generated CO2 into products of interest. The technology platform will be based on co-electrolysis, which is a process that utilizes electricity in CO2 conversion.

This CO2 conversion process features simultaneous reactions that generate higher productivity of the system, creating intermediate chemicals or final products for use in commercial interest applications.


“This partnership with Braskem … allows the team to explore new and adoption-accelerating concepts for the electrification of chemicals production,” said Dr. Ke Xie, Research Assistant Professor, Northwestern University.

The conversion project is led by Professor Ted Sargent and Dr. Ke Xie from Northwestern University. Currently in the development stage, the project aims to build a modular conversion system with high energy efficiency. A modular approach will enable the transformation of higher volumes of CO2 in addition to increased efficiency.

"In recent years, Braskem has signed several partnerships to study the possibilities and alternatives for using the CO2 generated by its operations,” said Gus Hutras, Global Process Technology Director, Braskem. “Through this partnership with Northwestern University, using the infrastructure of its laboratories and Professor Sargent’s and Professor Xie’s expertise, we will deploy CO2 conversion through co-electrolysis.”

Laboratory-scale development began one year ago and is expected to advance during the three-year cooperation agreement, with a potential to scale-up and apply the technology in industrial applications after it is validated. Braskem, with the assistance of this CO2 conversion project, plans to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions 15% by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.