The full potential of converting carbon dioxide

Rohan Mathew

Updated on:

Carbon dioxide (CO2) levels are reaching frightening levels forcing many organizations to take measures to reduce it. This is one of the ways you can limit global warming to prevent the bad effects of climate change. But this can be impossible if carbon dioxide is not removed from the atmosphere. 

You can capture carbon from fossil fuel plants and also use other various methods. Unfortunately, most of these techniques can be quite expensive. Therefore, finding commercial uses for the captured carbon dioxide can lower the costs of these technologies. This page discusses the full potential of converting carbon dioxide.

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The uses of captured carbon dioxide

For many years, the captured carbon dioxide has been placed into depleted oil fields to improve oil recovery. Besides this, the captured carbon dioxide has also been injected into greenhouses to improve plant growth. But today, various companies like and researchers are finding new uses for captured carbon dioxide. 

Some of the products produced from captured carbon dioxide include chemicals, concrete, and fuels. Below are some of the potential uses and products that can be made from captured carbon dioxide:

Concrete building materials

Concrete which is a fine powder refers to a mix of water, cement, and aggregates. So when you activate this powder by the water, it binds all the aggregates into a solid mix. 

Keep in mind that these aggregates include asphalt, concrete, and construction fill which can be produced by converting carbon dioxide into solid mineral carbonates, such as calcium carbonate. 

This carbon dioxide can be used instead of water to cure concrete while mixing it to get similar mineralization. As a result, you can make concrete stronger and even save a lot of water. 

Liquid fuels 

Liquid fuels like diesel, gasoline, and many other rare variants such as jet fuel are produced by refining hydrocarbons extracted from underground. However, synthetic fuels can be made in various ways and can be a great substitute for liquid fuel. Carbon-neutral liquid fuels can be an excellent market for carbon dioxide.

Because there are many liquid fuels globally and there is an existing market for cleaner alternatives, carbon-neutral liquid fuels can be a favorite option. 

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Chemicals and plastics

Using a variety of catalysts, you can make various chemical intermediaries from carbon dioxide. Some of the materials you can produce include feedstocks for other industrial processes, such as syngas, methanol, and formic acid. 

You can also use catalysts to transform carbon dioxide into polymers. This is a precursor for adhesives, plastics, and pharmaceuticals. Today, carbon dioxide produced polymers are pretty expensive, yet plastics are a great potential market, representing a growing part of the demand for liquid fossil fuels. Above all, they have a long lifespan, making them another good potential for carbon dioxide. 

Presently, there are a couple of chemical applications for carbon dioxide which are commercialized at a large scale like the production of polycarbonate polyols and urea. 

From the above, you can see that there is good potential in converting carbon dioxide. Converting waste gas into useful products can enable you to reduce carbon footprint while generating profits.