The CO₂ Utilisation Roadmap, a new report from the CSIRO, explores the opportunities for emerging carbon capture and utilisation (CCU) technologies in Australia, to transfer carbon dioxide waste into a revenue stream for industries such as manufacturing.
The CO₂ Utilisation Roadmap identifies how these CCU technologies could support growth in Australia’s food and beverage manufacturing industry, create zero or low carbon building products and materials, and enable Australian low emissions chemicals and fuels to be exported.
CCU technologies can help transition Australia towards a lower emissions future while creating economic growth.
“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,” CSIRO chief executive Dr Larry 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.”
Currently, the manufacturing industry either relies on fossil fuels or has inherent emissions in its processes, which are traditionally “hard to abate.” Unable to rely on renewable technologies alone, it is one of the industries that account for about a sixth of Australia’s emissions and around a third of global emissions.
CCU technologies capture CO₂ from the waste streams of industrial processes, or directly from the atmosphere, and convert it into useful new products. This might include synthetic fuels, food and beverages, chemicals or building materials.
However, Australia is well-placed to lead in CCU technologies.
“Our analysis shows that Australia is well positioned to capitalise on the CCU opportunity and become a leader in this emerging area,” CSIRO Futures associate director Vivek Srinivasan said.
“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.”
The CO₂ Utilisation Roadmap draws on extensive national and international consultation, modelling and analysis to determine the key advantages, barriers and considerations to support scale-up for identified areas of CCU opportunity for Australia.
By acting as a potential major user of hydrogen and helping to reduce CO₂ emissions, CCU complements CSIRO’s investment in Australia’s hydrogen and emissions reduction research, through the Hydrogen Industry and Towards Net Zero Emissions Missions.
CSIRO worked with government and industry to develop the CO₂ Utilisation Roadmap. These bodies included the Australian Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources, Woodside, Santos, BHP, Wesfarmers Chemicals, Energy & Fertilisers, APA Group, Mineral Carbonation International, the Victorian Government, KBR, Advisian, Australian Trade and Investment Commission and CO₂ Value Australia.
Download the CO₂ Utilisation Roadmap here.