A research aiming at reusing CO2 and implementing a validated laboratory technology based on a prototype methanation reactor (called ProGeo) producing carbon neutral methane through the chemical conversion of CO2 waste ﬂue gases using renewable energies is presented. Preliminary experimental determinations of methane yields by ProGeo have been carried out using CO2 either by commercial bottles as well as carbon dioxide produced (in the ratio of 1.9 kg per liter) from grapes fermentation of Marsala wine (from Sicily, Italy). The obtained results show a complete compatibility with the used catalyser being a commercial KATALCOJM 11-4MR produced by Johnson Matthey (UK). The ProGeo reactor was designed to produce a CH4 ﬂux of 1 Nm3/h, using the well known Sabatier reaction at a high pressure (2-3 atm) and temperature (200-300°C). The goal is to use either low cost or renewable energy to reuse waste CO2 to produce methane in a circular economy scheme. We have also undertaken the investigation of a new methanation pathway aimed at avoiding the use of the solid catalyst, by exploring mechanisms involving a plasma generation by electrical discharges or by vacuum ultraviolet (VUV) photons on CO2+H2 gas mixtures. Measurements performed using a microwave discharge, gave useful indications on how to proceed to develop alternative solutions to the present Ni catalysed Progeo apparatus. The results are expected to provide better scientific understanding and guidance of carbon neutral technologies enabling industry and regional authorities to incorporate them into future energy systems for innovation and sustainable development.
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