the growth of materials that are carbon-negative
The United States Congress passed a bill in August called the Inflation Reduction Act, which, in the words of the American government, “includes about $369 billion in clean energy incentives and climate-related spending programs, including funding to encourage carbon capture, utilization, and storage projects.” Carbon emissions can be used in a variety of ways after being captured and stored, including the creation of so-called “carbon-negative” products derived from the same air pollution that was removed. For instance, the sneaker company On, which is worn by Roger Federer, is collaborating with LanzaTech and Borealis, two businesses that deal with chemistry and carbon recycling, respectively, to create a carbon-negative substitute for the foam used in shoe soles.And On is not the only brand doing this. In fact, Pangaia made a sweatshirt last year with graphics made with AirInk, an ink made from PM 2.5 particles, a pollutant that is filtered and turned into pigment; on the other hand, Coty announced that by 2023 it will begin extracting ethanol from industrial emissions to make most of its perfumes, always in partnership with LanzaTech; and in June, Zara worked with the company to create a perfume.
According to Zahra Hirji in Bloomberg, “steel mills typically leak carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide into the environment.” “LanzaTech runs a facility at the site of the steel mill that allows for the simple capture of carbon monoxide emissions and their introduction into a reactor, a procedure known as gas fermentation. Then, a special strain of bacteria inside the reactor consumes emissions, resulting in the production of ethanol.In an interview with the newspaper, CEO of LanzaTech Jennifer Holmgren said: “It’s like yeast when you create beer: you give it sugar and it makes ethanol. We give him carbon monoxide or carbon dioxide instead of sucrose. The method seems to be prepared for use on a large scale; according to Bloomberg, LanzaTech has produced more than 30 million gallons of ethanol since 2021, which the company claims is equivalent to removing 150,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. The company aims to produce 100 million gallons by the end of 2023, starting, among other things, to use carbon dioxide as well as carbon monoxide alone.
The issue was also covered by Time, which expressed the worries of many environmentalists about what the new incentives imply while describing the effects of American reform on the carbon capture industry: While capturing carbon from the air is undoubtedly a business that will expand and, more importantly, an elegant solution to reduce emissions from all those industries that have difficulty reducing them, the reform that has been passed does not do much for doing so. The Inflation Reduction Act does not include measures to reduce pollution, according to the director of policy at Food and Water Watch. Based on the notion that fossil fuel firms’ climate pollution can somehow be contained, it offers incentives that can increase private investment and bring in billions for them. It’s a risky wager.