Toward an e-chemistree: Materials for electrification of the chemical industry
Van Geem, K.M., Weckhuysen, B.M., MRS Bulletin 46, 1187–1196 (2021)
Due to our increasing awareness of the impact of climate change on our society, unit operations in our manufacturing processes, including those in chemical industry, have to be greenified and made less dependent of fossil resources. This so-called electrification of the chemical industry is still yet in its infancy but there are many scientific and technological challenges to be solved. This article provides some directions for further research for scientists in both academia and industry to move step by step to an e-chemistree. These important but far from trivial energy and materials transitions require not only the introduction of new ways of heat management and other, often not yet fully explored, chemical conversion processes in which green electrons are used, but also the development of new materials including large-scale heating coils, easily chargeable battery systems as well as catalyst materials. For each of these developments, there is the issue of materials scarcity as well as durability as the introduction of these production processes should also be cost effective and overall more sustainable than the existing ones.