Carbon Dioxide Is Used in Product Manufacturing

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As a contribution to climate protection, some companies manufacture textiles from CO2. But is it genuinely beneficial? What’s the story behind this amazing technology, and how will it affect our planet?

Consider a future in which the soap we use is made from air pollution. Or vodka distilled from emissions. Or perhaps the jewelry we wear? What is certain is that it could all happen very soon. To meet the Paris climate agreement, the world must eliminate one billion tons of CO2 by 2025.
That means we need to pick up the pace. Companies such as Germany’s Covestro convert CO2 into a feedstock that can be used for almost anything.

Mattresses, medical equipment, socks, sports shoes, car seats, telephone covers, wall linings, floor coverings, and other similar items. It sounds promising. Will this, however, have a significant impact on our CO2 levels? And how does recycled carbon appear? Carbon storage efforts have been ongoing for decades. Oil companies used emissions to pump CO2 into wells to improve oil quality in the 1970s.

We can also convert that polluting gas and release it into the environment. But why not repurpose it into something new? Carbon Capture and Utilization, or CCU, is the name given to this technology. This technology is now on the rise.
So, how can we use recycled carbon? Susan Fancy is the program manager for the University of Michigan’s Global CO2 Initiative. He is very excited about CCU. He revealed that carbon is present in almost all objects.
When I go to a clothing store, I notice that the majority of the fabrics are now made from synthetic fibers, which are essentially fossil fuels. Consider this mattress. The majority are made of polyurethane foam.

Christoph Gürtler, a product developer at Covestro, is well-versed in foam. He showed me a large block of polyurethane foam weighing between 10 and 20 kilograms. As a result, we’re using CO2 to replace some of the fossil raw materials used to make these mattresses. This process replaces approximately 20% of the fossil CO2 with recycled CO2. Every year, more than 30 million mattresses are discarded in the European Union. If all of that is added up, it must be about 678 times the height of Mount Everest, the highest peak in the Himalayas. Christoph Gürtler also revealed that, while there is this method, it is impossible to save the world if it is the only method.”And I answer yes. That is not the intention.”

Product manufacturing necessitates a significant amount of energy.

However, manufacturing these products can consume a significant amount of energy.CO2 conversion into polymers and fuels typically necessitates more energy than other applications. However, manufacturing these products can consume a significant amount of energy.CO2 conversion into polymers and fuels typically necessitates more energy than other applications. According to chemical engineer Görge Deerberg, they could only do this if they used green energy.
“I think this is the biggest problem,” he said of energy efficiency in the production of CO2-based products and materials. We don’t have enough green energy to produce green chemicals and green steel.” We are unlikely to save the planet by purchasing socks that emit no CO2. The amount of carbon dioxide contained in chemicals, plastics, and fibers would be insignificant in terms of global emissions. The amount ranges between 40 and 90 million tons per year.
As an example, we emit 33 billion tons of CO2 per year. As a result, we must displace carbon in much larger processes.
Cement, believe it or not, is the correct industry! Cement alone accounts for 8% of global carbon dioxide emissions.
We cannot produce cement without emitting CO2 due to chemical constraints. This is an industry that must emit CO2.
So stated Görge Deerberg.However, an entrepreneur named Chris Stern is attempting to produce concrete without emitting CO2 by exchanging cement for slag, or steel slag. It comes from the steel industry.”Concrete is a very interesting subject to me,” Chris Stern says, explaining that they are doing everything they can to keep the emissions to a minimum.

Not removing carbon, but replacing cement

He stated that there will undoubtedly be people working on it. Why not only him?”We’re not looking for ways to remove carbon from cement; we’re looking for ways to replace cement.”Carbicrete obtains CO2 from industrial gas suppliers, who collect and purify industrial gas. However, the company is actually selling technology.
They are working with scientists at McGill University to develop a patent for a process called “CO2 curing”.CO2 is injected into a chamber, where it reacts with the steel waste, converting it to calcium carbonate. So, how much CO2 is actually emitted? “By not using cement, we saved two kilograms of CO2 emissions and were able to bury about one kilogram into the concrete block.” Chris Stern elaborated. So a total of approximately 3 kg was lost and lost from each 18 kg block. Chris Stern revealed that this technology has the potential to reduce millions of tons of CO2.
That is self-evident. Every year, approximately 230 million tons of CO2 are released into the atmosphere.
However, we currently only have the capacity to abate 40 million tonnes per year, with North America accounting for 70% of that total. According to chemical engineer Görge Deerberg, if we can replace some of it with carbon dioxide recycled from the air, we can cut the carbon footprint of fossil fuels by up to 50%. However, the market for “Carbon Capture and Utilization,” or CCU, is still in its infancy. As a result, we must continue to invest heavily in technology and infrastructure.It costs a lot of money to do that. But everyone agrees that the potential exists.
According to McKinsey & Company, the market for CO2-based products alone will be worth between $800 billion and $1 trillion by 2030. And it will happen if the company can predict future business models.

Business models of the future?

Susan Fancy speculated that we don’t really know what to advertise or what will sell.”I mean, what exactly are you selling? So we’re talking about a 20-year time span.”This leads us to the larger question: Do we believe the market can solve the problem? Of course, Chris Stern replied.100%. This would be handled by people like him who founded businesses. What else could it be? As Christoph Gürtler points out, people usually say, “Who’s going to pay if you do something more sustainable?” Meanwhile, Görge Deerberg revealed that the consumers are the ones who pay.
These new products can be marketed, but they are obviously more expensive. And this is a market gap that government regulation must bridge.

Mattresses could be more costly. But perhaps that is the cost of sleeping on a comfortable mattress.”We do not claim an existential threat, but we continue to live as before.”Susan Fancy emphasized this point. The most significant impact of CCU, in my opinion, is the displacement of fossil fuel sources. However, we cannot consider this system to be an infinite recycler. Finally, we must pay attention to CO2 circulation. So, where does it come from, where does it go, and where does it end up when the product’s lifespan expires?

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