Professor Geoffrey Ozin and his research group are currently working on ways to turn atmospheric CO2 into fuels, such as gasoline, methanol, carbon monoxide and chemical products, such as urea based fertilizer. Such an approach would simultaneously reduce greenhouse gases and ditch reliance on fossil sources. Ozin’s view of CO2 as a friend and not an enemy is shared by many academics, and marks a major shift in how climate change should be tackled.
On May 9th and 10th, U of T’s Solar Fuels Cluster hosted the international “CO2 Solutions to Climate Change” Symposium, bringing together the world’s top scientists and engineers, all of whom are developing creative solutions to transform CO2 into useful chemicals, materials, and fuels. A variety of cutting-edge chemical, biological, computational, and materials-based strategies were presented. Science and engineering researchers, engineers and policy makers from the United States, China, Japan, the UK, and Germany laid out the full spectrum of scientific, economic and political challenges that must addressed to successfully shift towards the CO2 energy economy.
But it’s not only environmentalists who should be interested. A recent report by the Global CO2 Initiative predicts that products manufactured from CO2 could create a global market of over US $800 billion by 2030 with a 15% reduction in the level of CO2 in the atmosphere. Now, government is interested too. Ontario’s Minister for the Environment and Climate Change, Glen Murray, who opened the symposium and a passionate believer in taking strong and fast action to curb climate change, doesn’t want Canada to lose out. He has a vision to implement the process of carbon capture and utilization across the country and wants to see Canada as a global leader in pushing towards a sustainable energy economy.
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