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What Can We Do With Carbon Dioxide?

The amount of carbon dioxide in our environment has been escalating due to massive human activities and the lost of hectares of greenery forest. New research aimed at finding ways to use carbon dioxide to make fuels, plastics, and other products and materials could easily triple the amount of this key greenhouse gas put to practical use, rather than released into the atmosphere or simply captured and buried underground, according to an article scheduled for the April 30 issue of Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), ACS's weekly news magazine.

In the article C&EN senior editor Stephen K. Ritter points out that the global chemical industry already uses about 115 million tons of CO2 annually as a chemical feedstock, that is, as a raw material to manufacture other chemicals and products. Products routinely produced from CO2 range from aspirin to fertilizer. Even a major scale-up in the industrial use of CO2 would hardly put a dent in the emissions and buildup of this greenhouse gas, however. Since global CO2 emissions (mainly from coal-fired electric power plants) total an estimated 24 billion tons, technology for capturing and storing the gas still are essential in a battle against global warming, the article explains.

Even with that proviso, Ritter points out that increased chemical industry use of CO2 could be an important part of a multi-faceted program to control global warming. The article describes a wide range of research projects underway in academia and industry to find practical uses for CO2. One process under investigation in the United Kingdom, for instance, focuses on converting CO2 into formic acid, which could be used to power fuel cells for electric vehicles and a raw material to make other fuels. Another promising process, among many being developed in the United States, involves making polycarbonate plastics that contain up to 50 percent CO2 by weight.

My two cent: From my previous research experience, carbon dioxide can be utilized as feed stock together with hydrogen to produce synthesis gas via a process called CO2 Reforming. A suitable metallic catalyst will be required in a reactor with temperature ranging about 300-500oC. I believe this research has great potential and we may benefit big time from it. Learn more about CO2 Reforming here.

Note: This story has been adapted from a news release issued by American Chemical Society and ScienceDaily

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posted by Kipas Repair JB @ 12:02 AM,


At Wednesday, May 02, 2007, Blogger Webworm said...

CO2 is used for Enhanced Oil Recovery as well...

Interesting articles...for you and your lovely visitors......http://www.touchoilandgas.com/enhanced-recovery-needs-enhanced-a423-1.html

However, as CO2 mix with wet oil created serious corrosion problem and involve extremely high CAPEX, many operator consider CO2 sequestration......may visit...http://www.total.com/en/press/press_releases/pr_2007/070208-co2-capture-sequestration_11400.htm


At Wednesday, May 02, 2007, Blogger Kipas Repair JB said...

Thanks websorm for your info...I'll share it with the rest as soon as i can...


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The Author


I’m Zaki. I used to be a project, process and chemical engineer. Few years ago I successfully became a Chartered Engineer (IChemE) and Professional Engineer (BEM). I'm now employed as a chemical engineering educator/researcher/consultant. Hope you like reading my blog. I welcome any feedback from you. My email: zaki.yz[alias]gmail.com. TQ!

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