The UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) recently stated their commitment to accelerate action on climate by reducing global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and achieving net-zero emissions around 2050. Such a challenge demands considering lessons learnt in the past and expects major scientific breakthroughs in the future. In this context, De-CENT aims at giving a second chance to CO2 using it as a feedstock for energy production, accelerating the decarbonisation of the economy and boosting the development of Carbon Capture and Utilisation technologies (CCUs). De-CENT is in line with actions within the European Green Deal directed to the acceleration of greenhouse emission reduction to target the carbon-neutral economy. This global objective demands for integration of newer measures to prevent carbon leakage, and to preserve or expand carbon sinks. Carbon footprint estimations (as a synonym of carbon emissions) have been widely implemented worldwide as an environmental indicator of environmental quality of greenhouse gases (GHG) emission sources and as a managing tool for energy and environment policies. Large differences in GHG emissions exist at the local scale, in contrast to large economic sectors, and are mainly caused by changes at point sources, e.g. population growth, industrial activity changes, variations in the emission-sink balance at the local scale. This variability demands the application of decentralised inventories of GHG point sources and the use of flexible but stable technologies to cope with these changes. De-CENT proposal pretends to contribute to this battle against climate change focussing on decentralised mitigation of point-source and intermittent CO2 emissions.
The know-how and resources obtained from previous projects in the group have become a fertile ground for De-CENT proposal with a clear objective: create a portable bioelectrochemical module for descentralysed mitigation of point source CO2 emissions to methane using surpluss renewable energy. Within the Spanish Plan de Recuperación, Transformación y Resiliencia (PRTR) approved by the European Commission on 16th Dec 2021, De-CENT will be in line with the objectives proposed in the Ecological Transition axis (Axis number 1), supported by the European Rule UE 2020/852. De-CENT tackles three out of the five main objectives of the Plan, 1) improving indoor air quality (IAQ) (calidad de vida de las personas), 2) contributing to the decarbonization of the economy (descarbonización y eficiencia energética), 3) contributing to the valorization of RES (despliege de energías renovables y el amacenamiento de la energía). De-CENT is envisioned as a flexible technology based on CCU and transformation to methane (Objective 2), renewable energy surplus utilization by means of a bioelectrochemical system (Objective 3 of the plan), and promoting CO2 ellimination below harmful levels for humans if applied indoor (Objective 1), which are defined as the main differentiators of our proposal.
Principal investigators: Dr Sebastià Puig and Dr Lluís Banyeras