YouTube video

Carbon-negative, dollar-positive

The Global CO2 Initiative at the University of Michigan aims to identify and pursue commercially sustainable approaches that reduce atmospheric CO2 levels by 4 gigatons/year. We fund and conduct research to transform CO2 into commercially successful products using technology assessment, technology development and commercialization.

Technologies are needed that are carbon negative, reducing the current CO2 footprint of a product, and dollar positive, or economically viable at scale. The combination of these factors will provide an incentive to invest in and deploy new technologies.

The Initiative also assists with economics understanding and the policy levers needed to speed progress of carbon-based product deployment, while gauging public perception of and interest in these products.

As global CO2 emissions continue to accelerate, a diverse set of solutions is critical to reduce, reverse and remove carbon dioxide emissions to prevent further atmospheric warming. Paired with the deployment of renewable energy and energy efficiency products, decarbonization technologies and methods can help achieve global climate goals in this century.

Why Carbon Removal and Utilization?

carbon cycle explained in terms of natural processes, the problem, and carbon removal.

CO2 Products and Utilization

Carbon into materials.
Carbon into concrete.
Carbon into fuels and chemicals
Carbon negative, dollar positive.

From concrete to plastics, there is a tremendous opportunity for captured and utilized carbon dioxide to reduce emission footprints as well as create market opportunity for critical sectors around the world.

Construction Materials

  • Cement and concrete
  • Asphalt
  • Aggregate
  • Timber/super hardwood

Industrial Fluids

  • Enhanced oil recovery
  • Enhanced coal bed methane recovery
  • Enhanced water recovery
  • Semiconductor fabrication
  • Power cycles


  • Synthetic (methanol, butanol, natural gas, syngas, etc.)
  • Micro-algae fuel
  • Macro-algae fuel


  • Polyurethene foams
  • Polycarbonate (glass replacement)
  • Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene
  • Many more


  • Preservatives (formic acid)
  • Medicinal
  • Antifreeze (ethylene glycol)
  • Carbon black
  • Many more

New Materials

  • Carbon fiber
  • Carbon nanotubes and fullerenes
  • Graphene

Agriculture & Food

  • Algae-based food or animal feed
  • Microbial fertilizer
  • Biochar, bio-pesticides, and bio-cosmetics