EghtesadOnline: In a renewed push to go green, the first phase of a carbon dioxide recycling plant was launched in Rey County (south Tehran) near Tehran Oil Refinery.
Masoud Ahmadi, managing director of the factory, made the announcement on the sidelines of the inauguration on Tuesday, IRNA reported.
The factory annually converts 40,000 tons of CO2 emissions produced in the Tehran refinery into industrial and food-grade CO2, meeting 15% of the domestic demand for the product.
Prior to the construction of the complex, carbon dioxide —the most dangerous and prevalent greenhouse gas — was released into the atmosphere, exacerbating the air pollution in Tehran, according to Financial Tribune.
Costing $2 million, the project (sustainable from the environmental and economic perspective) will help curb air pollution in the capital. It has created 100 jobs directly and indirectly.
“Output of the factory (33,000 tons of industrial and food-grade CO2 plus 500 tons of CO2 capsules and 500 tons of dry ice) can be used in different sectors from food industries to welding and medicine.”
According to the official, Tehran Oil Refinery is committed to working for a low-carbon future, which primarily involves reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
CO2 is a natural and essential component of life, accounting for 0.03% of the atmosphere. Plants require CO2 to grow (photosynthesis), and in the process release oxygen into the atmosphere. CO2 is produced naturally by the decay of all organic materials.
It also is a by-product of many industrial processes, emitted whenever fossil fuels are burned. But in environmental terms CO2 is cause for concern because it is a terrible contributor to global warming and many countries have pledged to reduce it in line with international treaties like the Kyoto protocol -- an international agreement to reduce CO2 emissions and the presence of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
Nevertheless, in industrial gas trade, CO2 is an important element with several useful applications, including environmentally-friendly processes in which the gas replaces much more damaging products.
In the food industry, CO2 is used throughout the cold chain to ensure quality, freshness and food safety. In Europe, more than 50% of CO2 is consumed by the beverage industry - and worldwide this amount used in beverages looks set to increase as people in developing economies such as India and China develop a greater taste for carbonated soft drinks.
According to Ahmadi, the benefits of going green are numerous.
A large portion of industrial and food-grade CO2 in Iran is produced with obsolete methods like burning diesel, which are no more used in developed countries.
“Building more CO2 recycling plants not only will help fight the menace of air pollution, but also assist in getting rid of outdated methods to manufacture food-grade CO2.”
In related news, IRNA said Tehran Oil Refinery has signed a memorandum of understanding with two Japanese companies, JGC Corporation and Marubeni Corporation, to enhance gasoline quality and quantity as well as reduce mazut output.
“The refinery’s gasoline production is planned to rise by 25% in the first phase of the project and by 100% in the second,” Lotfollah Hangi, the refinery’s CEO told IRNA.
Hangi said to remove benzene from gasoline and upgrade quality to comply with Euro-5 emission standards, new quality enhancement units will be constructed in the refinery.
Tehran Oil Refinery is located 15 kilometers south of the capital and includes two sections (southern and northern). Its nominal crude refining capacity is over 230,000 barrels a day.