💚 Decarbonizing the World’s Industries 🏭

💚 Decarbonizing the World’s Industries 🏭

By
Dennis Kamprad

Read Time:5 Minutes

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Stay impactful,

Happy Tuesday 👋

Here are the impactful insights that I have for you today:

  • Research shows how to decarbonize the industrial sector worldwide 🏭
  • Creating green steel from toxic aluminum waste 🧑‍🔬
  • Get involved in Skip the Straw Day 🥤
  • And more… 💚

Have you ever heard about carbon capture and storage?

It’s basically a way of trapping carbon emissions just after they’ve been emitted but before they can enter our atmosphere.

And based on our research, it seems like it’s a great technology that can help us remove those emissions that we weren’t able to reduce in the first place!

That’s why I’m super excited to share a practical study with you that looks into how we could use this technology to cut down on our industrial emissions!

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🏭 How the Industrial Sector Can Reduce Harmful Emissions by 85%

1️⃣ The big picture: A new research study, led by the University of Leeds, has found that it’s possible to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions associated with industrial development, such as steel, chemicals, cement, and food, by 85%. Published in the journal Joule, the research has found that a combination of medium to high maturity technologies that involve carbon capture and storage, as well as fuel switching to more eco-friendly alternatives can help most industries achieve this target. 

2️⃣ Why is this good news: Industrial products such as steel, cement, and chemicals are widely used around the world, releasing over 3.1 billion tons of CO2 and other greenhouse emissions within the last century. Even more worryingly, the demand for these products is on the rise. Countries around the world are working towards net zero emissions by 2050 to reach the target set by the Paris Agreement. However, with our current trajectory, global industrial emissions will need to be practically eliminated to achieve this. The research conducted in this study shows that this is possible with the eco-friendly technologies already developed. 

3️⃣ What’s next: Although this study purely focuses on the technological aspect of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, it marks an important step towards designing strategies that will significantly decarbonize the industrial sector. The next stage is to formulate plans to get around additional social and economical barriers. The UK’s Department of Energy Security and Net Zero has already included some of the results from this study into a consultation on enabling industrial electrification in a bid to achieve net zero by 2050. 

Related: You can already help to protect our planet from pollution and fight climate change by supporting one of the 9 Best Charities for Climate Change or learn more about this technology in our deep-dive article Carbon Capture Explained: All You Need to Know.

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📢 More Good News…

🧑‍🔬 Green steel can be made from toxic aluminum waste

  • Scientists at the Max-Planck-Institut für Eisenforschung have developed a way to create green steel from the toxic red mud generated in aluminum production. 
  • The eco-friendly process uses green hydrogen to extract CO2 free iron from aluminum waste with the use of an electric arc furnace
  • Through this process, scientists estimate that 700 million tons of CO2 free steel can be created from the 4 billion tons of red waste that have so far accumulated worldwide.

🦏 Critically-endangered black rhinos moved to new sanctuary as species recovers:

  • 21 black rhinos have been translocated to Loisaba Conservancy in Northern Kenya as Kenya’s other 16 rhino sanctuaries have run out of space. 
  • This is a marked achievement considering that black rhino populations had dwindled to less than 300 individuals by the 1980s because of excessive poaching.
  • This is the first time that black rhinos have been present in the Loisaba area since 1976. 

🌾 First successful fermentation of synthesized sugar to expand biomanufacturing:

  • Researchers from Osaka University have developed an innovative biomanufacturing process that uses bacteria (Corynebacterium glutamicum) in the fermentation production of lactate using synthetic sugar.
  • This is the first case in the world where biomanufacturing was conducted using synthesized sugar as the raw material. 
  • This achievement will enable the collection of sustainable raw sugar that can be used in the development of essential food, biofuels, and chemicals without the high carbon footprint. 
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🥤 Event of the Week: Skip the Straw Day

👉 Did you know that this Friday (February 23) is Skip the Straw Day? This event was founded in 2017 to raise awareness of the impact plastic pollution is having on our natural planet by encouraging people to drink without plastic straws. 

1️⃣ The big picture: Skip the Straw Day was founded by a group of passionate young activists in Michigan, named the Coral Keepers. In the midst of our ongoing battle with climate change and plastic pollution, the event was set up to encourage people to think about whether they need a straw to enjoy their beverages and to raise awareness of the many biodegradable alternatives available. Today, the Coral Keepers ask us all to ‘tip the glass’ rather than sip through a straw to save our beloved planet. 

2️⃣ Why is this important: An estimated 500 million straws are used in the US every single day. This amount can fill 46,500 large school buses each year. Plastic waste, including disposable straws, make up 80% of all plastic pollution in our oceans with around 10 million metric tons of plastic ending up in our oceans every year. Pieces of plastic are often ingested by endangered marine mammals, like turtles, that mistake them for prey. This can cause internal injuries, infections and starvation as their stomachs fill with plastic. Additionally, the incineration of plastic waste releases carbon dioxide, contributing to climate change. 

3️⃣ How can you get involved: There are many ways you can get involved in Skip the Straw Day and better the planet for all inhabitants. For example, you can set up an awareness campaign to encourage your town to ditch plastic straws. You can also organize a trash pick-up event or you can promote the use of biodegradable alternatives, such as bamboo straws, on your social media pages by using the hashtag #SkiptheStrawDay. 

You can also check out the organizations below that are working to end plastic pollution and fight climate change:

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📜 This Week in History

🚀 February 20, 1962: John H. Glenn, who was one of seven astronauts selected for NASA’s Project Mercury, became the first American to orbit Earth. He later went on to become a US Senator. 

🤝 February 21, 1972: US President Richard M. Nixon paid a state visit to the People’s Republic of China, ending a 21-year estrangement between the two countries.

🦷 February 21, 1866: Lucy Hobbs Taylor became the first woman to earn a doctorate in dentistry.

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💭 Quote of the Day

“If people like Edison or Ben Franklin had waited to solve every problem on Earth before they did their research or before they were curious about doing something new, we’d never have made a lot of the progress we have.

— John H. Glenn, former astronaut and US senator

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Share the news with your friends to make a bigger positive impact on the world and society together!

Stay impactful 💚

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