Main content area

How solar energy and electrochemical technologies may help developing countries and the environment

Marini, S., Strada, C., Villa, M., Berrettoni, M., Zerlia, T.
Energy conversion and management 2014 v.87 pp. 1134-1140
acidification, carbon, carbon dioxide, chlor-alkali process, developed countries, developing countries, electric power, electrochemistry, environmental engineering, environmental policy, greenhouse gas emissions, market value, oceans, solar energy, synthesis gas, Algeria, Europe
The policies of curbing CO2 emissions have worked poorly on a global scale and an economically sound proposal of bringing electric power to Europe from an Algerian solar hub has just been dismissed. With reference to the Algerian – European relationships, we analyze the broad context where an environmental policy benefitting both developing and developed countries can be put in place. We then discuss the connection between anthropogenic CO2 emissions and acidification of Oceans along with a geo-engineering proposal aimed at solving these pressing problems with large-scale solar-powered chloralkali plants. While the cost of sequestering a ton of CO2 with dedicated chloralkali plants is unacceptably high, it is economically and environmentally sound to replace an existing European Cl2 plant (consuming fossils) with a solar-powered plant in Algeria. If the Algerian plant uses a new, more efficient chloralkali process, it will be competitive with existing European plants even at the current low market value of the carbon emission credits. We finally explore the possibility of coupling Cl2 production with CO2 reuse and syngas production through a novel electrochemical process.