Researchers have apparently succeeded in filtering CO2 from the atmosphere and converting it into useful chemicals. The approach promises great potential to make the chemical industry significantly more sustainable.
The chemical industry plays an important role in this country. Every day, companies like BASF produce chemicals that are used in various production steps. But the industry faces major challenges when it comes to climate protection. Because the production of chemicals is not always sustainable.
But there seems to be a solution. Then Researchers at the University of Surrey presented a new approach for the chemical industry. This converts CO2 from the atmosphere or as a by-product of the production facilities into useful substances. This could turn the greenhouse gas into useful chemicals.
Large amounts of CO2 could be converted into chemicals
Currently, industry mainly uses fossil fuels to manufacture chemical products. Subsequently 19 percent come from of German industrial emissions from pharmaceutical and chemical companies. The researchers from Surrey are therefore pursuing a different approach.
They advocate that manufacturers should filter and store CO2 from the atmosphere. Using so-called “dual function” materials, a catalyst can then convert the greenhouse gas into other chemicals.
These could be bottled and sold like conventional chemicals. So far, the researchers have said that conversion into carbon monoxide or synthetic natural gas should be possible. Instead of producing these substances, they are a by-product of the actual production. Surrey lecturer Melis Duyar speaks of a “milestone”.
Chemical industry must become more sustainable
However, it is still unclear when the technology will be available. Nevertheless, it provides an interesting approach to dealing with emissions from the chemical sector. Above all, however, it remains important that the greenhouse gases end up back in the atmosphere at some point, despite conversion.
So the solution is only a first step. In order to cushion the long-term consequences of climate change, it is necessary to eliminate emissions completely. However, it will probably take some time before the chemical industry gets to this point.