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Seizing CO2’s Potential

CO2 has a lot of potential. That may not be a sentence that one hears every day, but research and innovation have shown that CO2 can be transformed into innumerable valuable products. In addition to uses such as supplementing fertilizer or as a chemical feedstock for the synthesis of other chemicals, we in the algae space are particularly familiar with CO2’s ability to accelerate algae growth, speeding along the production of numerous algae-based goods. Yet current federal policy does little to encourage alternative solutions for CO2—making the very logical decision to recycle CO2 less appealing for decision makers in the space.

In a recent article in The Hill, Laurie Purpuro, Tim Peckinpaugh and Peter Nelson, eloquently lay out the current landscape and call for more federal support for carbon capture and utilization (CCU); or at least an even playing field. As they explain, the preferred option, as expressed through federal policy, is CCS, or carbon capture and sequestration. CCS involves capturing the carbon and injecting it into caverns in the ground and/or using it for enhanced oil recovery (EOR). Yet the alternative—CCU—would capture carbon and apply it for beneficial purposes. As the authors explain, it would treat carbon as the valuable raw material that it is instead of a waste product.

Senators Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) have introduced a bill to do just that—to even the playing field for CCU. S. 3179 proposes to extend a tax credit to CCU applications in addition to the CCS and EOR applications it already serves. As the article explains, S. 3179 would be an important step in the right direction for giving CCU the support it needs in order to thrive and prove its value.

For more information, and for the article itself, visit The Hill.

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