A US perspective on closing the carbon cycle to defossilize difficult-to-electrify segments of our economy

Wendy J. Shaw, Michelle K. Kidder, Simon R. Bare, Massimiliano Delferro, James R. Morris, Francesca M. Toma, Sanjaya D. Senanayake, Tom Autrey, Elizabeth J. Biddinger, Shannon Boettcher, Mark E. Bowden, Phillip F. Britt, Robert C. Brown, R. Morris Bullock, Jingguang G. Chen, Claus Daniel, Peter K. Dorhout, Rebecca A. Efroymson, Kelly J. Gaffney, Laura GagliardiAaron S. Harper, David J. Heldebrant, Oana R. Luca, Maxim Lyubovsky, Jonathan L. Male, Daniel J. Miller, Tanya Prozorov, Robert Rallo, Rachita Rana, Robert M. Rioux, Aaron D. Sadow, Joshua A. Schaidle, Lisa A. Schulte, William A. Tarpeh, Dionisios G. Vlachos, Bryan D. Vogt, Robert S. Weber, Jenny Y. Yang, Elke Arenholz, Brett A. Helms, Wenyu Huang, James L. Jordahl, Canan Karakaya, Kourosh Kian, Jotheeswari Kothandaraman, Johannes Lercher, Ping Liu, Deepika Malhotra, Karl T. Mueller, Casey P. O’Brien, Robert M. Palomino, Long Qi, José A. Rodriguez, Roger Rousseau, Jake C. Russell, Michele L. Sarazen, David S. Sholl, Emily A. Smith, Michaela Burke Stevens, Yogesh Surendranath, Christopher J. Tassone, Ba Tran, William Tumas, Krista S. Walton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Electrification to reduce or eliminate greenhouse gas emissions is essential to mitigate climate change. However, a substantial portion of our manufacturing and transportation infrastructure will be difficult to electrify and/or will continue to use carbon as a key component, including areas in aviation, heavy-duty and marine transportation, and the chemical industry. In this Roadmap, we explore how multidisciplinary approaches will enable us to close the carbon cycle and create a circular economy by defossilizing these difficult-to-electrify areas and those that will continue to need carbon. We discuss two approaches for this: developing carbon alternatives and improving our ability to reuse carbon, enabled by separations. Furthermore, we posit that co-design and use-driven fundamental science are essential to reach aggressive greenhouse gas reduction targets. (Figure presented.)

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)376-400
Number of pages25
JournalNature Reviews Chemistry
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2024
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering


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