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article imageHow carbon capture is on the road to becoming big business

By Tim Sandle     Nov 9, 2019 in Environment
Carbon dioxide capture and use could become big business according to a new study from University of California - Los Angeles. The study reviews various commercial opportunities for the green economy.
The report charts how capturing carbon dioxide and transforming it into commercial products, like fuels or construction materials, is set to become a major global industry. The range of uses once carbon has been captured include fuels and chemicals, plastics, building materials, soil management and forestry.
As an example, with the production of plastics, using captured carbon dioxide as a starting material works out more profitable and leads to a more environmentally cleaner production process compared with the use of conventional hydrocarbons. The researchers estimate that this approach can displace up to three times as much carbon dioxide as it uses.
This based on using advanced technologies for carbon dioxide capture from waste gases. Such gases are generated by burning fossil fuels or from straight from the atmosphere through industrial processes. With extraction from atmosphere, the process is more challenging since there are far lower concentration of carbon dioxide in the air compared to combustion sources.
The aim of carbon capture is to prevent the release of large quantities of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere from heavy industry. What the new research does is to explore ways for this captured carbon to be used for the benefit of humanity.
There are three key steps involved: capturing the carbon dioxide, transporting the carbon dioxide, and securely storing the carbon dioxide emissions. For the process to be used more widely, and for captured carbon to be used for something useful, then government-led economic incentives will be required.
According to lead researcher D. Emily Carter: "The analysis we presented makes clear that carbon dioxide utilization can be part of the solution to combat climate change, but only if those with the power to make decisions at every level of government and finance commit to changing policies and providing market incentives across multiple sectors."
The study is published in the journal Nature, where the research paper is titled "The technological and economic prospects for CO2 utilization and removal."
More about Carbon capture, Carbon dioxide, Recycling, Carbon economy
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