In a statement, the University calls
Don’t burn hydrocarbons, split them into hydrogen energy and valuable carbon materials.
Namely, Carbon Hub was inaugurated by Shell with a $10 million commitment and aims to partner with companies to fundamentally change how the world uses hydrocarbons; instead of burning them as fuel and releasing carbon dioxide, hydrocarbons will be split to make clean-burning hydrogen fuel and solid carbon materials that can be used to make buildings, cars, clothing and more.
Carbon Hub director Matteo Pasquali stresses that “for example, you make cars more fuel efficient by removing weight, and then realize you’ve increased CO2 emissions by using more aluminum and carbon fibers. Or you try to fix CO2 into a useful product, and you realize you now need much more energy than you had gotten by making the CO2 in the first place.”
The solution proposed by Carbon Hub is to make solid and useable carbon materials directly from hydrocarbons, so no emissions are ever generated.
Pasquali added that
The beauty of it is that if you start from hydrocarbons and run efficient processes, you will have leftover hydrogen to make clean, zero-emissions energy.
On their part, Sharon Beshouri, president of Shell Global Solutions, noted that “the use of clean hydrogen and carbon materials has the potential to be game-changing in the energy transition. Carbon Hub aligns with Shell’s vision to provide more and cleaner energy solutions around the world.”
The team, which includes more than 70 researchers from 20 universities, national laboratories and research institutes, looked for places to cut out energy inefficiencies without increasing emissions elsewhere.
That the biggest impact being on climate change will come from creating carbon materials that are lighter than metals but compete with them in terms of strength and electrical and thermal conductivity.
Due to nanotechnology, carbon can take many forms, including nanotubes and graphene, supporting a diverse range of products from beams, panels and wiring for cars and buildings to soil amendments for farming.
Further to this, together with Shell and future industry partners, Carbon Hub will fund and direct $100 million of basic science and engineering to efficiently deploy technologies, including several that have already been proven in the lab.
On their part, Ken Medlock, senior director of the Center for Energy Studies said that “providing energy to the world’s population in an economically and environmentally sustainable manner is the global energy challenge.”
Ajay Mehta, general manager for new energies research technologies at Shell highlighted that
The positive impacts we can have through this kind of innovative basic research are inspiring as we face one of the world’s toughest challenges — climate change.
In September, Maersk and Port of Antwerp, supported by IAPH, announced a new joint initiative, called 'The Getting to Zero Coalition', aiming to a commercially viable zero-emission vessel industry for ships operating along deep sea trade routes by 2030. The new initiative unites shipowners, port providers, ports and technology innovators with the goal of achieving zero emissions.
This joint initiative is a collaboration between the Global Maritime Forum, the Friends of Ocean action, and the World Economic Forum. The partnership is in line with the Call to Action in Support of Decarbonization launched in October 2018.
In July, the Global Industry Alliance (GIA) -a key IMO initiative supporting ship decarbonization- was set to be extended to 2023, in line with the timeframe of IMO’s Initial GHG Strategy. The extension follows two years of good progress by the initiative.