Elsevier, iScience, Volume 24, 25 June 2021
The chemical industry needs to significantly decrease carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in order to meet the 2050 carbon neutrality goal. Utilization of CO2 as a chemical feedstock for bulk products is a promising way to mitigate industrial emissions; however, CO2-based manufacturing is currently not competitive with the established petrochemical methods and its deployment requires creation of a new value chain. Here, we show that an alternative approach, using CO2 conversion as an add-on to existing manufactures, can disrupt the global carbon cycle while minimally perturbing the operation of chemical plants. Proposed closed-loop on-site CO2 recycling processes are economically viable in the current market and have the potential for rapid introduction in the industries. Retrofit-based CO2 recycling can reduce annually between 4 and 10 Gt CO2 by 2050 and contribute to achieving up to 50% of the industrial carbon neutrality goal.