In Madrid today the Director General for the Environment from the Department of the Environment, Housing and Territorial Planning of the Autonomous Community of Madrid, Federico Ramos, and the General Manager of the Gas Natural Foundation, Pedro Fábregas, inaugurated the environmental management seminar, "CO2 as a resource: the capture, storage and reuse of carbon dioxide", in which the use of different existing technologies was examined, from capture to the use of carbon dioxide, as instruments to mitigate global warming.
The principal initiatives to combat the effects of climate change are energy efficiency, the development of renewable energies and nuclear power. The capture of CO2, its transport and subsequent storage in a safe way, and its final reemployment for useful ends is a mechanism that is less well-known by society. As a result of this, during the seminar special attention was paid to the different industrial, biological and chemical uses of carbon dioxide.
In the framework of the seminar the book, El CO2 como recurso. De la captura a los usos industriales (CO2 as a Resource. From Capture to Industrial Uses),which the Gas Natural Foundation commissioned from the Director of Research and Development of the Carburos Metálicos company and of the MATGAS Centre for Excellence in CO2 and Sustainability, Lourdes F. Vega. During the presentation of the study, in which the different advances and technologies in the field of capture were reviewed, the author emphasised the need to be able to count on more human and economic resources in order to develop this technology and to look for new uses on a large scale.
Capture, transport and storage
Nowadays the activity which is most interested in the capture of CO2 is the one related to electricity generation, especially the power stations fired by coal. In this area, the sub director of the Technological Portfolio of GAS NATURAL FENOSA, Javier Alonso, explained the state of the technology in this sector, crucial in Spain and in the world.
Companies specialised in the transport of other gases are already considering how to adapt themselves to the transport of CO2. For instance, the Head of the Department of Technology of Enagás, Jesús Gil, spoke about how it is possible to transport CO2 through pipelines.
For its part, the Spanish Government has advanced in the task of researching the potential for storage in our country with the Edict 40/2010. Thus the Director of Geoscientific Research and Prospection of the Geological and Mining Institute of Spain, Diana Alonso, focussed her intervention on the technologies and possibilities for this storage in Spain.
Useful employment of CO2
The seminar advocated the reuse of CO2 in socially useful applications. The Chair of the Department of Chemical Engineering of the University of Valladolid, María José Cocero gave a detailed explanation of the possibilities for the use of carbon dioxide as a solvent (in processes of extraction or dry cleaning) or as a by-product for combustion (hydrothermal flames), among other uses.
In addition, the researcher from the Institute of Material Sciences of the CSIC, Concepción Domingo, highlighted the different uses and practical applications which CO2 can have, in critical situations such as in the processing of pharmaceutical drugs and biomaterials or in the high volume production of basic materials (such as cements or textiles)
The support of the Autonomous Community of Madrid
Finally, the Director General for the Environment from the Department of the Environment, Housing and Territorial Planning of the Autonomous Community of Madrid, Federico Ramos, outlined the different lines of support from the regional government for initiatives to mitigate climate change.
The seminar counted upon the presence of more than 300 professionals from companies in the energy, food, agricultural and chemical sectors, among others, in addition to researchers, engineers, civic organisations and public administrations.
The Gas Natural Foundation
With this initiative the Gas Natural Foundation continues its work aimed at the promotion of information, training and awareness of society with regard to the improvement of energy efficiency and technological innovation in the energy field in a way that is coherent with the respect for and conservation of the environment.