Empa launches research initiative on CO2 recycling


Dübendorf ZH – The Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Testing and Research (Empa) wants to permanently remove CO2 from the atmosphere and use it as a raw material for construction materials and petrochemicals. To this end, Empa has launched a research initiative. Two events will kick things off.

For Empa, a net zero in CO2 emissions is only an interim goal. Her researchers are looking for a holistic approach to solving the problem, one that doesn’t just capture CO2 and store it in the soil. “The goal is to develop an entirely new global economic model and associated industrial sector that converts CO2 as the raw material of the future into value-added materials to replace conventional building materials and petrochemicals,” Empa wrote in a related release.

To this end, Empa has launched the Mining the Atmosphere research initiative. Instead of focusing on mining raw materials in underground mines, more atmospheric mines are to be exploited in the future. This involves “removing an estimated 400 billion tons of carbon (i.e. around 1500 billion tons of CO2) from the atmosphere,” Empa explains. To accomplish this “task of the century,” “countless players from research and industry would have to join forces,” the research institute estimates.

The Mining the Atmosophere research initiative will kick off with two events in October and November. In the October 25 edition of wissen2go, interested parties can learn about negative emission technologies. Empa is accepting registrations for the event online.

On November 7, Empa invites “stakeholders, practitioners and researchers from the construction, building and infrastructure, energy, environment and sustainability sectors” to the RFA Built Environment Mining the Atmosphere seminar. Here, the research institute will present its own corresponding work. Registrations are open online until October 30. ce/hs