There are tremendous potential economic and environmental advantages to the development of agricultural chemicals and fuels through the use of CO2. Converting CO2 to chemicals has an enormous opportunity to transform the current fossil-based energy sector into a green and sustainable industry. At ThalesNano Energy we have developed the L.E.A.F technology to meet these demands and reduce the carbon footprint being left behind. By converting the CO2 emissions into useful resources, we are leaving a world for future generations to live in and grow. To know more about how we do this, visit ThalesNano Energy.
CO2 and its Role in the Chemical Industry
The use of fossil energy is the largest source of carbon emissions today, and the need for carbon is still a growing factor in the chemical industry. There are two sources of carbon emissions, namely, direct and indirect. Direct carbon emissions are sourced from the production site, which in this case is the chemical sector. While the indirect sources are the carbon released through the transport, packaging, and waste processing; these are linked to the stages post-production and not directly involved in making the chemicals.
Direct emissions are much easier to overcome. We can shift to more sustainable energy sources to bridge the gap between the need for fuel to run the chemical sector and overcome the carbon emission crisis. However, achieving the long-term of reducing carbon emission, the most effective way is to reduce the dependency on fossil fuel and shift to renewable sources of carbon.
Renewable Sources of Carbon
There are three primary renewable sources of carbon that exist today.
Biomass, as the name suggests, is derived from plants and animals. On-demand energy can be provided by biomass, which does not have a share in the world’s greenhouse gas production. Theoretically, by using biomass, we use carbon and, at the same time, do not release carbon in return.
Reusing carbon-containing material
Plastic has high carbon content. By reusing carbon, we reduce carbon emission footprint by 24%. Plastic is not biodegraded and is filling up landfills. Recycling carbon kills two birds with one stone.
Carbon Capturing and Utilization
Carbon capturing and utilization (CCU) is a mechanism that collects and then reuses or extracts carbon dioxide from sources such as coal-fired power stations so that it does not go in the environment. Captured CO2 can be converted to several products such as hydrocarbons, biofuel, plastics and concrete. CCU is thought to be the most effective and efficient response to the growing carbon emission from the chemical industry.
Environmental Benefits of Carbon Conversion
- When you use CO2 to manufacture products, you substitute the carbon sourced from burning fossil fuels. This reduces the existing carbon footprint and does not contribute to the emissions.
- There is an abundance of CO2 around the world; thus, it poses no issue for people wanting to use it as a resource. This saves the need to sabotage agricultural land to make room for fuel generation.
- Surplus energy generated from wind and solar energy can be stored in the form of CO2-based fuel.