Carbon then, where's the problem ?
The problems we face today don’t arise from carbon per se but from the simple fact that we have been accessing carbon to fuel our lives and to furnish our daily needs from an underground store where it has been lying contained for millions of years. In so doing and driven by our voracious appetite for more and coupled with a prevalence (until recently) for linear thinking, vast volumes of the stuff have been escaping into the atmosphere in the form of CO2 (and other GHGs).
This has been going on at an accelerating rate now for nigh on a couple of centuries, as populations grow and living standards rise globally resulting in gigatons of CO2 continuing to accumulate in the atmosphere compared to pre-industrial levels.
Carbon - a three pronged approach.
Defossilise now !
So, what we know today is that we need to break from the past. We need to stop emitting more fossil derived CO2 into the atmosphere by switching massively to renewable energy. Defossilising our energy mix is the imperative of the day.
CDR - Carbon Dioxide Removal
But that’s only the first step. Beyond that, we also need to remove gigatons of carbon dioxide that now reside in the atmosphere and that will continue to drive climate change if we do nothing about it, even once we’ve switched to renewable energy.
Renewable Carbon - coming full circle
This is the vision of carbon to embrace and in so doing we will continue to survive and thrive. We will continue to need carbon to produce and manufacture the conveniences of modern life. But what will be different is where that carbon comes from.
Sourcing carbon the Renewable Way
We need carbon and we will continue to need carbon but to preserve Earth’s delicate ecosystems, we need to source that carbon renewably. Renewable carbon, simply put, is carbon derived from sources other than the geosphere's fossil carbon. It encompasses carbon from the biosphere, atmosphere, or technosphere but explicitly excludes carbon originating from fossil fuels buried deep within the Earth. The fundamental principle behind renewable carbon is to create a closed-loop system, where carbon circulates between these sources, forming a carbon circular economy.
A Carbon Circular Economy:
At the heart of renewable carbon lies the concept of a carbon circular economy. This model mirrors the principles of a circular economy, where resources are conserved, reused, and recycled to minimize waste and environmental impact. In the case of renewable carbon, the focus is on minimizing our reliance on fossil carbon, which is a leading contributor to greenhouse gas emissions.
Examples of Renewable Carbon in Action:
- Biomass as a Sustainable Energy Source: One of the most compelling examples of renewable carbon is the use of biomass as a sustainable energy source but of similar significance is renewable carbon for the production of all organic chemicals and materials.
- Carbon Capture and Utilization (CCU): Carbon capture and utilization (CCU) is a game-changing technology in the realm of renewable carbon. CCU involves capturing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from industrial processes or directly from the atmosphere and converting it into valuable products. These products can range from synthetic fuels to building materials.
- Recycling for Sustainable Products: Recycling plays a crucial role in the renewable carbon ecosystem. When we recycle materials like plastics, we reduce the need for virgin fossil-based feedstocks. These recycled materials can then be used to create a wide array of products, from packaging materials to textiles.
- Biochar for Carbon Sequestration: Biochar, a form of charcoal produced from biomass, is gaining recognition as a powerful tool for carbon sequestration. When biochar is added to soil, it not only enhances soil fertility but also locks carbon away for an extended period. This process, known as biosequestration, represents an innovative approach to offsetting carbon emissions.
The Global Impact of Renewable Carbon
Around the world, visionaries are tapping into renewable carbon to replace fossil-based carbon, crafting a future that's sustainable and circular:
Renewable carbon is not merely a buzzword; it's a fundamental shift in how we interact with carbon in our world. By harnessing carbon from sustainable sources like biomass, CO2 capture and utilization, and recycling, we can reduce our reliance on fossil-based carbon and move towards a circular carbon economy. At Bio360 Expo, you'll have the opportunity to witness firsthand the innovations driving this transformative change. Join us in shaping a sustainable future powered by renewable carbon. Sign up for an e-badge today and be part of the renewable carbon revolution.