Carbon dioxide: feedstock to the chemical industry
Thirst-quencher and life style beverage : global mineral water consumption continues to grow.
It takes approximately 1.3 million metric tons of CO2 a year to quell Europe’s craving for mineral water and other sparkling beverages. At BASF’s site in Ludwigshafen, CO2 is obtained as a byproduct of ammonia manufacturing. The plant has the capacity to produce 320,000 metric tons of CO2 a year, approximately half of which is used to carbonize beverages.
Currently, the chemical industry uses high-purity carbon dioxide streams available from fossil feedstockbased hydrogen production. Major application is the synthesis of urea which in turn is used as a fertilizer and for the production of urea formaldehyde and melamine formaldehyde glues and resins.
The use of carbon dioxide as a chemical feedstock (CCU : carbon dioxide capture and utilization) is part of a strategically important concept which can lead in the long term by combination with renewable energy-based hydrogen production to safeguard our raw material base. Due to the limited volume potential, it will not be the solution to ambitious climate protection targets, but will supplement CCS (carbon dioxide capture and storage).
If sufficient renewable energy for hydrogen production is available, also the production of fuels can be considered which compared to the chemical use offers at least a tenfold volume potential.