Australian emission-reduction tech could help cut carbon from industry

Carbon dioxide emissions

Researchers from RMIT University in Melbourne have created a process for heavy industries to capture carbon dioxide gas and convert it back to solid carbon, helping to limit emissions amongst the energy-intensive production processes. 

The new technology makes it possible to instantly convert carbon dioxide as it is produced into a permanently solid state, keeping carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere where it contributes to emissions. The team is also investigating potential applications for the converted carbon, including in construction materials.

The carbon dioxide utilisation technology is designed to be integrated smoothly into existing industrial processes, creating minimal disruption. 

Decarbonisation continues to be a difficult issue for heavy industries such as steel and cement, which require immense amounts of power and directly emit carbon dioxide as a part of the production process. 

The cement and steel industries are each responsible for roughly 7% of total global carbon dioxide emissions, with both sectors expected to continue growing in size as population growth and urbanisation continue. 

Removing or minimising carbon emissions from heavy industries has become a large focus in decarbonising the planet. Extensive research and funding has been sunk into the development of technologies and processes to aid in creating a cleaner planet.

While several nations have made significant progress in decarbonising household energy supply through renewables and other clean energy technology, industry continues to be a heavy emitter contributing heavily to environmental issues.

The RMIT researchers behind the process have recently signed a $2.6 million agreement with Australian environmental technology company ABR, which is commercialising technologies to decarbonise the cement and steel manufacturing industries.

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