VTT in search of ways to utilise carbon dioxide emissions
Reducing emissions of greenhouse gases is among the most demanding environmental challenges. To a large extent it moreover dictates developments in energy policy and economy. VTT-led research is searching for means to convert carbon dioxide, known as greenhouse gas, into fuel components and raw materials for the chemical industry. The project is to provide Finnish industry with its own original processes for the utilisation of carbon dioxide which will also be suitable for international markets. The project is part of VTT's strategic "Clean World" programme.
The project is set to develop new, efficient catalysts and their manufacturing methods to handle carbon dioxide emissions. The development of a compact, integrated method for the utilisation of carbon dioxide is also envisaged, converting it into valuable raw materials for fuel and other useful chemicals.
The energy sector and chemical processing industry are the main potential users of carbon dioxide, but in the foreseeable future it should be possible to offer ordinary consumers products refined from carbon dioxide emissions.
"Thanks to the limitations agreed on at Kyoto the markets for good carbon dioxide utilisation technologies are already vast, especially in the EU area. Finnish research knowhow is a firm foundation for internationally competitive processes for converting these damaging emissions into something useful," says Marja Tiitta, Fortum's R&D Associate. Fortum's annual carbon dioxide emissions amount to 10,000 kilotonnes; some of this is utilised by the company.
This R & D work is funded by Tekes, VTT and Fortum. Work is being carried out not only in VTT but also at the University of Oulu and Helsinki University of Technology; utilisation of carbon dioxide demands a combination of an exceptionally wide range of expertise.
The economic viability of carbon dioxide capture and utilisation depends heavily on environmental legislation and political solutions. Limitations on emissions, emissions trade, possible environment taxes and on the other hand tax relief for environment-friendly products are crucial factors for the successful industrial utilisation of new methods.
|Feel free to use all news. Photographs copyright Kalle Heiska.|
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