At the moment, climate protection is mainly about lowering carbon dioxide emissions. Another approach is the active use of the resulting emissions and the associated retention of the greenhouse gas from the atmosphere. Those who manage to find good concepts for the use of carbon dioxide can tap into a resource of raw materials of our current time, for the purchase of which is even paid (CO2 certificates) and make an important contribution to society. Different types of biomass use are predestined for this.
It is well known that the realization of future products, but also of scientific discoveries, not only depend on the developer's intuition and the belief in the usefulness of an innovation, but also (and others would even say “mainly”) on the existing ones economic framework.
The fact that there is an ever better trade for "Pollution Certificates" for carbon dioxide developed and the production of CO2 is associated with economic costs, also leads to that new usage concepts for CO2 can be thought. This is economically interesting and socially relevant (climate protection).
Energy and material use of CO2
The CO2 produced during the oxidation of organic matter contains hardly any usable energy (exergy) depending on temperature and pressure, so that economically sensible concepts for further energetic use and conversion of the gas did not exist to my knowledge.
Since CO2 is a natural building block of biomass, it looks at the material use already different from carbon dioxide and there are increasing ideas to continue using the exhaust gases. This will change the state of Carbon dioxide as a free gas kept as short as possible and converted as directly as possible into a fixed carbon form. Two types of uses for manufacturing Carbon sinks I would like to briefly introduce you within the biomass industry.
Greenhouses and CHPs
First a concept, which is already a few years old, but is only becoming more widespread due to the spread of cogeneration technology.
The natural proportion of carbon dioxide in the ambient air is approx. 350 ppm. However, it has been scientifically investigated that many plants have a higher CO2 content of around 800 - 1000 ppm than Optima for their growth.
By fertilizing with CO2 over the artificial introduction into greenhouses the carbon dioxide content is optimized for plant growth and the chance of a temporary limitation is reduced by this parameter.
The exhaust gases from a CHP plant, which are generated during the generation of electricity from biogas and natural gas, contain around 6% CO2. These emissions can be introduced into the greenhouse via a few processing steps, where the CO2 can add further value.
Microbes and CO2
An order of magnitude smaller should now also increasingly use microorganisms. So plan RWE Power and the company BRAIN the methods of white biotechnology with the goals of Power generation and climate protection connect to.
As white biotechnology are biotechnological processes that are used to optimize industrial processes. The main use is made of microorganisms or enzymes.
The goal of the specific project is to design microorganisms so that they Convert CO2 more efficiently thereby increasing the growth rate of the microbes. There is a small reduction in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, at the same time the carbon is fixed as biomass. This biomass can be used for Electricity production or recycling be used.
The Design of microorganisms on the one hand it sounds like a very strong interference in the natural processes of nature, in which (at least for me) many warning signals come on. On the other hand, this approach “only” corresponds to accelerated breeding in order to specifically promote desired development preferences at the genetic level. This approach certainly takes getting used to.
So far, agriculture has mainly been based on animals and plants. The possibility of using (I don't know if we can talk about cooperation) microorganisms therefore seems obvious to me.
Photo: Thanks to emergence