CO2 was the hot topic of conversation today, as gasworld TV heard insights from LogiCO2, TOMCO2 and CarbonCure in part one of its two-part webinar series, through which the expanding CO2 business, and how to stay safe within it, will be the focal point.

Whilst a lot of the focus on CO2 markets earlier this year may have been around Covid-19 vaccines and dry ice demand, gasworld TV’s emphasis today was on the wider trend for CO2 recovery and utilisation, sponsored by LogiCO2, and hosted by gasworld Global Managing Editor, Rob Cockerill,

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Bo Hassen, CEO of LogiCO2 International was up first, “LogiCO2, has been around since over 25 years, nearly 30 years, and the momentum, has changed enormously in the past five years, I would say,” he told the audience. 

“We’re trying to innovate to make things simpler and easier. I think that the best way to have safety within CO2 is the people understand CO2 isn’t to play with. It really needs to have people understand that it’s heavy and that it’s dangerous -but it’s getting out there.”

On how and where LogiCO2’s products can be used, Hansson continued, “We have the largest fast-food company in the world [as a customer], they have 40,000 sensors installed, and piece by piece, we’re getting all the rest of them also. And so, the hospitality industry is pretty well covered.”

“The brewery industry is also going good and there are emerging markets within the technology industry where you have growth sensors for enhanced salad growing and cannabis growing and that’s actually an emerging market where we use our innovative creativity.”

Whilst the company’s products are of course at the heart of its offering, Hansson also explained how LogiCO2 is educating its customers. “We’ve got a lot of it experience in the education and on our website, in different languages now, we have a certification process so that people can go in and pick their language and see the documentation, fill in 25 question formula and when they complete it, and the pass they receive a document.”

“It’s interesting because the gas industry, when we introduced it and showed them, they said that after their employees had passed the test, it just raised the bar and they understood it and which they didn’t before, and you imagine that a gas company would. People need to be educated.”

As a concluding note, Hasson said, “The safer we can make it, the more CO2 we can use and the CO2 is a fantastic gas. It can be used in so many applications that making it safe is the way to go.”

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Capture, purification, reliquefication, and reuse 

Next, Jeff Holyoak, Vice-President of Sales and Market Development at TOMCO2 System, spoke about how carbon capture is such a hot topic right now in the US – something which gasworld has also noticed through its news coverage in the recent months.

“I think everybody’s trying to determine how to capture what the capture, where to capture and then what to do with it after you have captured it. So, there’s no doubt about it, there is a big movement in the US at the moment,” he told gasworld TV.

“The security and the safety of the supply chain is critical as well. We’re kind of captured right now by three or four different types of source feeds of the gas, and when one of those are disrupted like ethanol or something of ammonia or something like that, then the entire supply chain becomes at risk for a short period of time.”

He continued, “The more variations and variables and variable ways of capturing CO2 and having more molecules to the overall market, the more secure the market is. So absolutely, there is a there’s a high interest throughout the entire nation and globally really is identifying more source gases.”

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CO2 for concrete

The third and final panellist for part one of gasworld TV’s two-part CO2-focused series was Dean Forgeron, Senior Vice-President of Engineering and System Development at CarbonCure Technologies, who oversees the company’s engineering, hardware and software development efforts, as it develops scalable carbon utilisation technologies for the concrete industry.

Introducing the company to those who may not be familiar with CarbonCure’s activites, Forgeron, said, “CarbonCure is a fast growing we call it a clean tech company, with easy to adopt built on scalable carbon dioxide removal technology, which actually enables concrete producers to use captured CO2 to produce reliable, more sustainable concrete mixers and achieve quite significant market differentiation.”

“We’ve installed in about 330 plants to date and by the end of next month will be over 400 plants globally. Currently in about five continents, and when we enter 400 threshold, we should be in seven continents - so we’re really starting to expand globally.

“Further to that, we’ve injected CO2 into 1.5 million truckloads of CarbonCure base concrete mixers to date and this is ramping quite aggressively, especially with these additional accounts. These producers are putting all these trucks into sustainable construction projects worldwide. So, what we’ve done through our analytics is calculated that we remove more than 120,000 tonnes of embodied carbon today from the atmosphere.”

He continued, “How we do that is we inject CO2 into the fresh concrete while it’s mixing and once it’s injected. The interesting part is it’s chemically converted into a mineral, so it hardens into a mineral and it’s permanently eliminated from the environment.

“The other part is that it actually improves concrete properties, allowing the producer to actually optimise how to make concrete and further reduce the environmental impact. So, it’s quite interesting and the future is interesting as well.” 

On another hot topic, digitalisation, Forgeron said, “We rely heavily on digitisation and machine learning and AI within this concrete production, and we think the industry is going to do that as well, from selecting components to make concrete, optimising natural processes and quality control and design optimisation and the optimisation of concrete delivery.”

So where is this all heading? Sharing some impressive numbers with gasworld TV viewers, he continued, “I think the best way is to look at some of the other work that’s been done to calculate carbon utilisation. So C2ES (Centre for Climate and Energy Solutions), according to their work, they’re saying that this industry could be up to a trillion-dollar industry by 2030.”

“On the concrete carbon utilisation space, we see an estimated $400bn market opportunity in the concrete industry. And if we do that properly, we should be able to reduce about three gigatonnes of annual CO2 emissions from this industry alone.”