Green cement? Captured carbon may fuel new markets and help climate

(Reuters News, 7 Nov 2019) Turning climate-changing carbon dioxide into products from fuel to fertilizer could make climate action pay - but obstacles remain, researchers say.

Capturing planet-warming carbon dioxide and turning it into useful products, from plastics to jet fuel, could make climate action cheaper and become a good business - but market obstacles need to be overcome first, researchers said on Thursday.

Companies are already turning carbon dioxide captured at industrial plants into materials such as road aggregate and low-carbon cement, scientists said in a paper published in the journal Nature.

Eventually products could also be made from carbon dioxide captured directly from the air, as the costs of that technology fall, they added.

"There are a lot of weird and wacky ideas out there, and we're just scratching the surface," said Cameron Hepburn, a University of Oxford professor in environmental economics and a lead author of the study.

But efforts to turn captured carbon into products are still largely small-scale because most countries have yet to put an economic value on eliminating climate-changing gases while some of the processes require a lot of energy, he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Construction standards and other regulations also make creating markets for new products difficult, said Hepburn, also director of the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment.

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Reuters News, 7 Nov 2019: Green cement? Captured carbon may fuel new markets and help climate