Project Management

Carbon-negative, Cash-Positive

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Richard Maltzman
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By now, we all know that carbon dioxide (CO2) is a greenhouse gas that traps heat in the atmosphere and is a cause of climate change.  For an excellent explanation of the overall causes, can go to this NASA site.

Or, watch this video.  It's 10 minutes well-spent.

A recent article from BBC news ( summarized three examples of efforts – successful efforts – to convert carbon dioxide into products that can instead help humans, and making money in the process, with deals like this popping up even after the article, which was published only a few days ago.  These deals mean initiatives, and these initiatives mean projects – and those projects will need project management expertise from people like you.

From the article:

Until recently, it was assumed that energy-intensive firms burning gas to fuel their processes would need eventually to capture the resulting carbon emissions and bury them underground.

This option is inefficient and costly, so the prospect of utilising some of the CO2 as a valuable raw material is exciting for business.

In this post, I’ll summarize a few and point you to some other ideas innovators have been considering.

Fizzing your beer or other beverage

One farm in the UK has found a way to take “horse muck” (BBC’s word, not mine) and straw and put this mixture through a bio-digester and then use advanced membranes to separate out food-grade CO2, which can be sold to local beverage manufacturers to make beer or lemonade (or seltzer, or any bubbly beverage) fizzy.  Find out more at Strutt and Parker Farms’ website.

Fertilizer pellets that are carbon-negative

With this technique, corn and cow manure are put into a bio-digester, where bacteria break down these materials to produce biofuel.  Then, the left-over sludge with other wastes from various industries (fertilizer, sewage plants, farms), and pump in CO2.  The CO2 helps the nutrients bind to the sludge, and to produce high-grade fertilizer pellets, which in the process, effectively reduces CO2 while producing a profitable product.  Find out more at CCM Technologies (of Swindon, UK).

Construction materials: Limestone from CO2

Carbon8 (and others) take ash from the chimney of a waste incinerator plant.  This is mixed with water and CO2, which produces heat (which can be used for various purposes, since that is a form of energy in and of itself).  However, the main “show” here is the creation of artificial limestone, which can be used for building blocks and other purposes.  This permanently captures the CO2 in the blocks.  This artificial limestone also reduces the need for cement, which is a carbon intensive material.

You can find out more about these carbon-negative, cash-positive initiatives here:

I also suggest that you check the links in each of the three processes above for really good content on each of the techniques.




Posted by Richard Maltzman on: June 30, 2019 02:34 PM | Permalink

Comments (2)

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Great article, Richard! With a smart and creative mind we can conquer many of the climate issues.

Thanks for sharing., very interesting article.

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"Consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative."

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