26 September 2023

CSIRO scientists see value in CO2 wastage

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Australia could turn carbon dioxide waste into a valuable revenue stream, according to a new report from the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO).

Chief Executive of CSIRO, Larry Marshall said the Organisation’s CO2 Utilisation Roadmap explored the opportunities presented by emerging carbon capture and utilisation (CCU) technologies for Australia to support new industries and reduce carbon emissions.

“The Roadmap identifies how emerging CCU technologies could be used to support growth opportunities in Australia’s food and beverages industry, the creation of zero or low carbon building products and materials, and position Australia for the export of low emissions chemicals and fuels,” Dr Marshall said.

“CCU technologies can help transition Australia towards a lower emissions future while creating economic growth,” he said.

“No single technology will take us to net zero – the scale of our challenge in adapting to climate change and decarbonising our industries requires us to draw on every available tool.”

Dr Marshall said that currently, industries such as cement, steel, plastics and heavy transport relied on fossil fuels, or had inherent emissions in their processes, and were traditionally hard to abate.

The Chief Executive said CCU technologies captured CO2 from the waste streams of industrial processes, or directly from the atmosphere, and converted it into useful new products, ranging from synthetic fuels to food and beverages, chemicals and building materials.

He said the CSIRO worked with Government and industry to develop the Roadmap, including the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources; the Victorian Government; and the Australian Trade and Investment Commission.

Associate Director of CSIRO Futures, Vivek Srinivasan said Australia was well-placed to capitalise on CCU opportunity and become a leader in the emerging area.

“Australia’s advantages include capacity to implement the low-cost, low-emission electricity needed for CCU technologies, a track record for developing internationally competitive export industries, and established international bilateral agreements on low emissions technologies,”” Mr Srinivasan said.

The CSIRO’s 119-page Roadmap can be downloaded on this PS News link.

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