CarbonAir will have a global annual production potential comparable to current cement production on the billion tons scale. This output potential will be achieved through an innovative upstream supply chain. In this process chain, atmospheric CO2 is first converted into biomass by natural photosynthesis:
CO2 + H2O = 1/6 C6H12O6 + O2
followed by two basic chemical pathways with two enabling technologies: Waste hydrogenation, the thermochemical conversion of waste biomass to methane using hydrogen
1/6 C6H12O6 + 2H2 = CH4 + H2O
and methane pyrolysis, the thermochemical conversion of methane to solid carbon and hydrogen
CH4 = C + 2H2
resulting in the overall reaction: CO2 = C + O2.
The product of waste hydrogenation is methane, which can be used as renewable natural gas (RNG) for the substitution of fossil natural gas. In the CarbonAir concept, methane will be further converted to solid carbon by methane pyrolysis.
The decarbonization of natural gas by methane pyrolysis – as currently envisaged by the oil and gas industry – is also very attractive, as natural gas production plays in the same output league as cement production. Natural gas could be substituted over time by renewable natural gas (RNG) from waste hydrogenation to achieve a carbon-negative process.