Figure 2. Diagram of carbon recycling (ERC) from exhaust gas to uses of formic acid.
Courtesy Mantra Venture Group.
may actually represent a business
opportunity. (See fig. 2 for potential
A budding industry, carbon recycling
for profit offers an exciting and viable
alternative to CCS programs. Without a
doubt, as a portfolio of solutions will
have to be developed to address climate
change, carbon recycling is destined to
be at the forefront.
Carbon recycling options being
developed globally vary considerably.
The range includes the biochemical conversion of CO2 into algal biofuel, the
thermochemical conversion into
methanol and the biocatalytic or solar
photocatalytic conversion of CO2 to
fuels. Each has its own set of advantages and disadvantages, and some are
more believable than others.
At this stage, what sets Mantra (and
a handful of others) apart is that it has a
publicly disclosed patent application,
backed up by several technical articles in
reputable journals and has already established market interest for its products.
As fear of climate change grips the
globe, businesses and governments are
desperate to find an answer to our CO2
problem. Relying solely on CCS is an
incredibly risky and in many places
unworkably expensive solution. More
imaginative thinking shows us that the
27 billion metric tons of CO2 per year
Rowan Oloman is a freelance
writer living in Vancouver, B.C.,
Canada. She holds a master’s
degree in environmental management from the University of New
South Wales and a bachelor of
arts degree in environmental geography from
the University of Sydney. Oloman works as the
director of several international conservation
projects and as a researcher for green tech