New CSIRO report says Australia could turn carbon dioxide waste into a valuable revenue stream


CSIRO, Australia’s national science agency, has released a new Roadmap that highlights the opportunity for Australia to lead in carbon capture and utilisation.

According to CSIRO’s statement, the CO2 Utilisation Roadmap explores the opportunities presented by emerging carbon capture and utilisation (CCU) technologies for Australia to support new industries and reduce carbon emissions.

CSIRO Chief Executive Dr Larry Marshall said 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.

“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.

“The development and demonstration of high abatement technologies like CCU has the potential to have a significant impact, as part of our broader efforts to both reduce emissions and lift the competitiveness of our industries.”

At present, industries such as cement, steel, plastics and heavy transport continue to rely heavily on fossil fuels or have inherent emissions in their processes and are traditionally difficult to abate.

These energy-intensive industries cannot rely solely on renewable technologies and account for approximately a sixth of Australia’s emissions and about a third of global emissions.

Associate Director of CSIRO Futures Vivek Srinivasan noted that CCU technologies capture CO2 from the waste streams of industrial processes, or directly from the atmosphere, and convert it into useful new products, ranging from synthetic fuels to food and beverages, chemicals, and building materials.

“Our analysis shows that Australia is well positioned to capitalise on the CCU opportunity and become a leader in this emerging area,” Mr Srinivasan continued.

“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.”

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