New technologies exist today that can use carbon dioxide gas to create products such as fuels, plastics, chemicals, even fertilizers and animal feeds. Carbon is a part of almost every product we use in our lives, and recycling carbon dioxide can keep the gas out of our atmosphere and make our economy more sustainable.
How it Works
Carbon Capture and Utilization is very similar to other types of recycling, like aluminum or paper. CCU technologies capture carbon from power plants or other industrial sources before it goes into the atmosphere. The gas is then transformed into new products that we all find useful. In the past decade these technologies have advanced to the point where they are available for power plants or other CO2 sources to use.
- Using carbon dioxide gas to manufacture products reduces our greenhouse gas emissions.
- Many products that can be made with CCU would otherwise need to be made from fossil fuels. Using CCU means we can keep that oil underground.
- CCU dramatically reduces the cost of reducing our carbon emissions. Since it creates products that can be sold for a profit, the technology can be much more appealing than just compressing CO2 and pumping it underground
Who is Making it Work
The algae industry: Algae are voracious consumers of carbon dioxide, and they can be processed into countless products. A number of companies today are making fuels, fertilizers, cosmitics, plastics and Omega-3 nutritional supplements from algae. All of them require large sources of carbon dioxide to operate.
Carbon utilization with algae cultivation is being demonstrated at projects in Florida, New Mexico, Iowa, Hawaii, Kentucky, and elsewhere, and is ready for commercial deployment. Several companies are in negotiations with partners in China and other nations to deploy algae CCU technology.
CO2 utilization has now advanced to the point where it can and should be available to states to help meet their greenhouse gas goals.