Capturing CO2 for a Cleaner Future

Sustainable development teaches the use of environmentally preferable products (EPPs). EPPs include products or services that reduce or lessen the impact on human health and the environment when compared to counterpart products or services that serve the same purpose. Many industries now support the development of EPPs as this helps relieve pressure on environmental resources and maximizes potential benefits from substitute products.

Excessive carbon dioxide (CO2) is a major contaminant and contributes to global warming . It is created during combustion and biological processes. Industrial plants manufacturing hydrogen or ammonia from natural gas, coal, or other hydrocarbon feedstock and large-volume fermentation operations use machinery such as generator sets, furnaces, kilns, and other combustion equipment with CO2 as a by-product of incomplete combustion. 

In the Philippines, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has taken the initiative and wants to reduce carbon emissions by 70 percent by 2030 through various technologies such as electric vehicles, heat rate improvements in power plants, addressing greenhouse gasses emission from wastes and shift to natural refrigerants, and promotion of biochar technology.

Compliance with environmental policies convinced these companies to minimize their CO2 emissions. Many have invested in developing new technology that capture this excess CO2 and funnel this back in the production process. Carbon Engineering Ltd, for instance, developed and patented its carbon dioxide capture (US20190336909A1) technology that discloses a method of carbon dioxide capture and facility for removing carbon dioxide from ambient air.

Captured CO2 is also finding its way as raw material in fire extinguisher systems, carbonation of carbonated drinks, freezing of food products, refrigeration and maintenance of ideal atmospheric conditions during transportation of food products, and many more consumer applications. 

A market study conducted by Fortune Business Insights shows that the global market for carbon dioxide capture and sequestration was valued at around USD1.75 Billion in 2019 and is projected to reach USD6.13 Billion by 2027. It is forecasted to achieve a compounded annual growth rate of 19.2% from 2020 to 2027. Key players include Fluor Corporation, ExxonMobil, Carbon Engineering, ADNOC Group, Equinor, China National Petroleum Corporation, Dakota Gasification Company, Shell, and Chevron. Some of these companies have their industrial plants located in several regions of the Philippines. 

Research and development in this sector is thus timely and solutions that are transferred to the market will reap the benefits of the expected growth in the near future.