Recycle of CO2 as a Raw Material for the Production of Fuels

Production of Bio-Ethanol and Bio-Butanol from Agricultural By-Products to be Used as Fuel

Human activity is changing the composition of the atmosphere. The generation of greenhouse gases (GHGs) is a major environmental concern. The public and the governments at different levels are seeking solutions to this problem. There is an increasing consensus to promote the use of renewable and sustainable energy sources. Canada has targeted transportation, which contributes currently to 25% of CHGs, as a key sector. There is an impetus to increase the proportion of biofuels such as bio-ethanol and bio-butanol used either by itself or blended with gasoline. Bio-ethanol and bio-butanol have the advantage of being produced from cellulosic biomass (feedstocks that have cellulose as a primary constituent) that uses nearly the same amount of CO2 to grow as the CO2 generated by their production and combustion.


Therefore, the net production of CO2 is nearly zero when their overall cycle is considered.  They are renewable resources and do not contribute to the production of GHGs. This is the main motivation for the keen interest in the production of alcohol-based fuels. Biomass can potentially be produced from dedicated energy crops and agricultural materials or can be available as a by-product of many industrial processes. The main objective of this study is the use of an adsorption system for improved production during fermentation.

Greenhouse gas CO2 can be recycled to be used as a raw material for other chemicals such as fuels, etc. One way of doing this is to convert CO2 to CO using the Reverse Water Gas Shift (RWGS) reaction. If CO2 is mixed with H2 gas under certain operating conditions, using a catalyst, CO gas can be produced using the RWGS reaction. This project looks at scenarios to increase the conversion of this reversible reaction by using adsorption and membranes and is carried out in collaboration with Phoenix Canada Oil Company, Ltd. 

Synthetic Fuels Including BioFuels

Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering

University of Ottawa

161 Louis-Pasteur (Colonel By - A-334)

Ottawa, ON K1N 6N5

+1 613-562-5800 ext. 6107


Created by Lauren Rose | Edited by Ye Carrier

Last updated by Ye Carrier in May 2020

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