An Oxygen bar selling a cocktail of oxygen in different flavours to Delhiites, hit hard by chocking pollution was in the news recently. And this is not the first instance of oxygen selling in the world.
But, if the current researches are any indication, soon there will be selling of carbon dioxide too in the world.
Capturing carbon dioxide and turning it into commercial products, such as fuels or construction materials, could become a new global industry, according to a study by researchers from UCLA, the University of Oxford and five other institutions.
If it happens, that can go a long way in saving the environment by reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
The research is the most comprehensive study to date investigating the potential future scale and cost of 10 different ways to use carbon dioxide, including in fuels and chemicals, plastics, building materials, soil management and forestry. The study considered processes using carbon dioxide captured from waste gases that are produced by burning fossil fuels or from the atmosphere by an industrial process.
And in a step beyond most previous research on the subject, the authors also considered processes that use carbon dioxide captured biologically by photosynthesis.
“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,” said Emily Carter, a distinguished professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at the UCLA Samueli School of Engineering and a co-author of the paper. “The urgency is huge and we have little time left to effect change.”
“Greenhouse gas removal is essential to achieve net zero carbon emissions and stabilise the climate,” said Cameron Hepburn, one of the study’s lead authors, director of Oxford’s Smith School of Enterprise and Environment. “We haven’t reduced our emissions fast enough, so now we also need to start pulling carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. Governments and corporations are moving on this, but not quickly enough.
Biological uses might also present opportunities to reap co-benefits. In other areas, utilization could provide a “better choice” alternative during the global decarbonization process. One example might be the use of fuels derived from carbon dioxide, which could find a role in sectors that are harder to decarbonize, such as aviation.