EghtesadOnline: The first industrial and food-grade carbon dioxide cargo, produced at a CO2 recycling plant by the Sugarcane and Byproducts Development Company in Khuzestan Province, was exported to Iraq.
Abdeali Nasseri, managing director of the factory, said Wednesday, IRNA reported.
The company primarily is a sugar factory, but other byproducts like ethanol are also produced discharging a huge amount of CO2 (approximately 9,000 tons per year).
The CO2 recycling plant that was completed last year annually converts 9,000 tons of CO2 into industrial and food-grade CO2 that otherwise would be released into the atmosphere, Nasseri said.
“Almost 60% of the industrial and food-grade CO2 is used domestically and what remains is exported.”
Prior to the construction of the plant, carbon dioxide — the most dangerous and prevalent greenhouse gas — vented into the atmosphere exacerbating air pollution in one of the most polluted regions in Iran.
The CO2 capturing unit (necessary from the environmental and economic point) was launched last year and will help curb air pollution in the oil-rich area. Moreover, capturing, processing, and selling CO2 means jobs for the local economy.
“Output of the factory can be used in different sectors including manufacturing soft drinks, frozen foods and multiple industrial uses such as grain fumigation, pH reduction of municipal water and effluent, welding, metallurgy, rubber manufacturing and chemical production, to name a few.”
CO2 is also used in heavy industrial processes such as enhanced oil recovery and fracturing -- techniques for the recovery of oil from old wells.
According to the official, the sugarcane company is striving for a low-carbon future primarily involving reduction of greenhouse emissions. CO2 from ethanol plants is regarded high grade because after minor processing the small amounts of impurities are easily removed.
Tehran Oil Refinery
In a similar move and to push the green agenda forward, the first phase of a carbon dioxide recycling plant was launched in Rey County (south Tehran) near Tehran Oil Refinery.
According to Masoud Ahmadi, managing director of the plant, close to 40,000 tons of CO2 emissions produced by the huge refinery is converted into industrial and food-grade CO2 annually meeting 25% of the domestic demand.
“Output from 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 pharmaceutical companies.”
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 major 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.
However, in industrial gas trade, CO2 is an important element with several useful applications, including environmentally-friendly processes in which the gas replaces other damaging products.