Research at the Global CO2 Initiative supports the development of captured carbon product technologies — both technological and biological — from early stage R&D through the stages of demonstration and early commercial deployment.

The Global CO2 Initiative is cultivating existing and potential industry and research partners to further collaborate and expand R&D and deployment opportunities for carbon dioxide removal and utilization technologies.

Innovative Solutions

closeup images of black and white hedgehog particles.Economical utilization of captured CO2 becomes possible when it is electrochemically converted into nanoscale products that can be used as fuel, ultrastrong materials, and high performance plastics.

However, electrochemical CO2 reduction is inefficient due to low solubility of gaseous CO2 in any solvents. Using supercritical CO2 (sCO2 a fluid form of CO2 above supercritical temperature and pressure) as the electrochemical medium is gaining significant traction. Learn more about supercritical CO2 electrolysis using hedgehog particles.

Blue Sky Initiative

The following four projects are supported by the University of Michigan’s College of Engineering through the Blue Sky Initiatives program.

Bendable Concrete

Bendable Concrete

The cement industry contributes 5–8% of global CO2 emissions. This CO2 can also be repurposed and utilized in curing the cement to manufacture concrete and other construction materials with desirable mechanical properties. Read more about Bendable Concrete.

Stronger Natural Fibers for Composites

Natural fibers as reinforcement of polymer composites gain attention due to their remarkable mechanical properties, low cost, carbon-neutral nature, and recyclability. Read more about Stronger Natural Fibers for Composites.

Supercritical CO2 Electrolysis Using Hedgehog Particles

Economical utilization of captured CO2 becomes possible when it is electrochemically converted into nanoscale products that can be used as fuel, ultra-strong materials, and high-performance plastics. Read more about Supercritical CO2 Electrolysis Using Hedgehog Particles.

Superior CO2 Capture Technology: CO2 Sorbents

In order to capture CO2 from atmosphere or industrial processes most effectively, we are developing new sorbents that increase the carbon-capture capacity of a moisture-stable sorbent relative to today’s best performer by 100%. Read more about Superior CO2 Capture Technology: CO2 Sorbents.

Public Perception and Consumer Sentiment

Gauging Public Acceptance of Products Made with Captured Carbon

Exploring people’s willingness to use a product derived from captured carbon will help gauge the potential for a reliable consumer end-market. Read more about Gauging Public Acceptance of Products Made with Captured Carbon.

Acceptability of Products Containing Captured CO2: The Role of Trust, Risk Perceptions, and Product Framing

Public perception is an important component of the commercialization of these products: without the trust, support, and buy-in of end users, CCU may not achieve the level of commercial success that is necessary to meet market- and climate-related goals. Read more about Acceptability of Products containing captured CO2.

Zetian MiDr. Zetian Mi is a Professor at the University of Michigan’s Department of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science in the College of Engineering.

His group is focused on the investigation of semiconductor nanostructures and their application in electronic, photonic, and solar energy devices and systems. Learn about Dr. Mi.

International Research Collaborators

CO2 Value Europe
IASS Potsdam
RWTH Aaachen University
Technische Universitat Berlin
The University of Sheffield
Renewable Carbon Initiative Partner

The Renewable Carbon Initiative (RCI) was initiated by nova-Institute after observing the struggles of the chemical and plastics industry facing the enormous challenges in meeting the climate goals set by the European Union and the sustainability expectations held by societies around the globe. It was clear that the industry has to go beyond using renewable energy. As decarbonisation is not an option for organic chemistry, which is entirely based on the use of carbon, an alternative strategy was needed.

The aim of the Renewable Carbon Initiative (RCI) is to support and speed up the transition from fossil carbon to renewable carbon for all organic chemicals and materials. 

Fossil carbon shall be completely substituted by renewable carbon, which is carbon from alternative sources: biomass, CO2 and recycling. This is the only way for chemicals and plastics to become sustainable, climate-friendly and part of the circular economy – part of the future!”