From the Oil Barrel to Reactive Metals: An approach to the Energy Transition

DOTT. STEFANO PASSERINI - 14 marzo 2023 ore 11:00 - Aula IB09 - Area Territoriale di Ricerca di Roma2 - ISM - GoToMeeting 

Our society is facing a millennial challenge to slow down global warming below 2 °C in the
long term.[1] Ambitious policy frameworks and policy intentions are a must to achieve this
target. In fact, analyzing the status quo, International Energy Agency (IEA) concluded that
the related carbon dioxide tra- jectories are not compatible with the climate targets, even if
current policy commitments and pledges by governments are implemented.[2,3] The
challenging issues are the limited use of renewables, merely considered for power
generation, but only marginally addressing other carbon-intensive industrial sectors (e.g.,
cement, steel, smelting), and the practical reduction of CO2 emissions from the transport
Reactive metal-based storage systems are a new alternative to support the clean energy
transition. Herein, the cases of Al and Na are presented, both preliminarily fulfilling the
constraints regarding sustainability, but employing two rather different processes. Both, the
steam combustion of molten Al for H 2 and heat production,[4,5] and a new rechargeable
battery, which makes use of seawater and sodium as electrodes, show promising round-trip
efficiencies.[6] The latter technology also allows CO2 -trapping, desalination, Na metal, and
chlorine production. It is argued that further research efforts are needed to verify the
sustainability and ability of reactive metal-based technologies to compete with other
storage technologies.

[1] Report of the Conference of the Parties on its Twenty-First Session, held in Paris from 30
November to 13 December 2015, FCCC/CP/2015/10/ Add.1, United Nations Framework on
Climate Change, United Nations, New York 2016.
[2] International Energy Agency, World Energy Outlook 2016, International Energy Agency,
Paris 2016.
[3] International Energy Agency, World Energy Outlook 2019, International Energy Agency,
Paris 2019.
[4] H. Ersoy, M. Baumann, L. Barelli, A. Ottaviano, L. Trombetti, M. Weil, S. Passerini, Adv.
Mater. Technol. 2022, 2101400.
[5] L. Barelli, M. Baumann, G. Bidini, P. A. Ottaviano, R. V. Schneider, S. Passerini, L.
Trombetti, Energy Technol. 2020, 8, 2000233.
[6] Y. Kim, M. Kuenzel, D. Steinle, X. Dong, G.-T. Kim, A. Varzi, S. Passerini, Energy Environ.
Sci., 2022, 15, 2610