Researchers at the Energy Safety Research Institute (ESRI) at Swansea University have found a way of converting waste carbon dioxide into a molecule that forms the basis of making plastics. The potential of using global ethylene derived from carbon dioxide (CO2) is huge, utilising half a billion tonnes of the carbon emitted each year and offsetting global carbon emissions.
Dr Enrico Andreoli heads the CO2 utilisation group at ESRI. He said: “carbon dioxide is responsible for much of the damage caused to our environment. Considerable research focuses on capturing and storing harmful carbon dioxide emissions. But an alternative to expensive long-term storage is to use the captured CO2 as a resource to make useful materials.