More growth, less CO2

by | May 1, 2021 | Polymers, Uncategorized

How Negative Emission Technology Offers a Future for the Economy and the Climate

A future in which a growing economy and achieved climate goals are not contradictory is possible. The prerequisite for this is a sustainable circular economy based on NET Materials® (Negative Emission Technology), which store CO2 instead of causing it. With the carbonaut system, we can already start down this path today.

A gentle jingle wakes me up, and shortly afterwards a pleasant voice is heard. “Good morning, it’s Saturday, April 13, 2097, seven o’clock. The weather is sunny with mild 12 to 19 degrees. You’ve entered a task for today: I need a new desk.” Off under the ultrasonic shower, then coffee, the day can begin. As I make my way to my replicator, I can’t help but remember the documentary I saw on the HoloNet yesterday. It’s hard to believe that people still went to stores to buy everyday items at the beginning of the century. What a waste of energy and time.

“Hey Samsa, I need a new desk top, 180 by 75 by four inches, charcoal gray, simulated wood grain.” A hologram of a desk top appears above my replicator. “Yes, that fits. Please produce.” Slightly bored, I watch as the carbon granulate replicator prints out my desk top millimeter by millimeter. Yesterday, I still put my old, scratched record into my recycler, who turned it into the raw material for the new record. The surplus energy that was generated in the process now covers the entire demand of 3D printing. “Hey Samsa, the news please.”

New York. The UN today declared that all 10 billion people have officially reached Prosperity Level 4. United Nations spokeswoman Jara Imbowa stressed that, after successfully halting climate change in the mid-21st century, this marks the achievement of humanity’s second major development goal. The main factors behind the successes, he said, are a shift to negative-emission technologies and materials, and energy production from renewable sources.”

Earth-shattering news, but right now I’m even more excited that my desk top is finished. “Thank you, Samsa.”

Growth instead of renunciation

Believe it or not, a future vision of this kind is more likely than you might think. Leading futurologists largely agree that it will be technology that will solve the major problems facing humanity – poverty, climate change, population growth – not prohibition, restriction, renunciation. It just has to be the right technology. Economic growth is fundamentally necessary: if we simply produced and achieved less, many people would fall by the wayside in the long term. After all, economic growth and technological innovation are a basic prerequisite for providing a growing world population with food, shelter, access to education, mobility and medical care.

The problem with our current way of doing business is not that it is based on the principle of growth, but in the raw materials we use and the energy sources we use. Even at a time when we are becoming increasingly aware of our ecological responsibility, we are consuming more resources than they can regrow. And we emit more CO2 than the planet can absorb. But what if there was another way? If we had raw materials whose production does not produce CO2, but which store CO2? What if we produce more energy in the production of these raw materials than we consume? What if the more we produce, the more we do to protect the climate?

CO2 negative plastic parts made from biochar with biodegradable PLA.

Negative Emission Technology is the answer

The answer to these questions is closer than the “what if” implies. Because NET Materials® (Negative Emission Technology) are already a reality today. We use this term to refer to biocarbons that are produced from biogenic residues and problematic materials through the carbonaute system, based on pyrolytic carbonization, and replace conventional raw materials such as wood or plastics. But that’s not all: valuable natural raw materials and energy-intensive artificial materials are replaced – these biocarbons permanently store a significant amount of CO2: 3.3 tons of CO2 per ton of biocarbon. So simply put, they are materials that do not produce CO2, but reduce CO2 – hence the name “negative emission”. And their production also generates a surplus of energy that can supplement or completely replace energy from fossil sources. Even the already CO2-neutral waste gases from the carbonaut plants can be further recycled: A conversion system can be used to produce high-purity “green” lime, which is highly attractive for the pharmaceutical industry, paper industry or construction industry, for example. Until now, their lime requirements have been met by the energy-intensive mining of a natural product – carbonates, on the other hand, offer a CO2-reducing alternative at no extra cost.

We thus offer a basis for a sustainable circular economy that can produce a lot at low cost and thus grow – and through its carbon-to-carbon principle actively contributes to the removal of CO2 from the recyclable material cycle the more it grows. What may sound complicated at first glance is actually quite simple. But also clever. We’ll show you that in upcoming blogposts, where we’ll share concrete examples of how NET Materials® is already making our “minus CO2” motto a reality today – and what else is possible in the future. Have we aroused your interest? Then follow our blog. It’s worth it, because we have a wonderful future ahead of us – here you can find out how we are already shaping it today.

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