Bridge to zero-emission: Life cycle assessment of CO2–methanol conversion process and energy optimization

Seung Gul Ryoo, Han Sol Jung, Min Jae Kim, Yong Tae Kang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


CO2-conversion technology provides both CO2 emission reduction and new value chains and is now becoming a key player in moderating global temperature increase. In this study, CO2-methanol synthesis processes are evaluated through life cycle assessment. Four conversion processes are selected to represent different technological readiness level (TRL) groups. Coal gasification and coking conversion process for high TRL while hydrogenation and photocatalytic conversion process represent mid and low TRL. Coal gasification conversion shows the highest global warming potential (GWP) with 17.7 kg CO2eq, followed by hydrogenation conversion, and coal coking conversion. Photocatalytic conversion showed the lowest GWP with 2.28 kg CO2 eq. The mid-to-low TRL conversion processes are analyzed by varying heat and electric sources. Through variation, feasibility of reducing CO2 emission to low-TRL level is confirmed. Although emission reduction sensitives upon energy sources are varied, hydrogenation conversion process reduced the GWP from 10.7 to 1.65 kg CO2 eq. Through the study, it is verified that hydrogenation conversion could be a bridge to green methanol until technological development of photocatalytic conversion, an acceleration to zero-emission.

Original languageEnglish
Article number120626
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Aug 15

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korea government (MSIT) (Grant number: 2020R1A5A1018153 ).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier Ltd


  • CO conversion
  • Emission reduction
  • Energy optimization
  • Life cycle assessment
  • Methanol production

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Pollution
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • General Energy
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Fuel Technology
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Modelling and Simulation


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