CPI plays pivotal role in trial to make everyday products from CO2 emissions

14 Mar 2024

A trial taking the carbon dioxide produced from factory chimneys and recycling it into washing product ingredients has begun.

Share This Page

The first batch of carbon dioxide will be captured at the Holmen Iggesund Paperboard Mill in Workington, Cumbria this week. 

It will then be sent to specialist facilities at the University of Sheffield and CPI where it will start to be converted into the chemical building blocks of surfactant.

The innovation is part of a cross-sector collaboration to find an alternative raw material to virgin fossil fuel for many manufactured goods, from cosmetics to plastics. The Flue2Chem initiative will examine the potential for using valuable carbon dioxide emissions from industry as an alternative source of carbon. 

17 organisations including global manufacturing giants, universities and innovation experts are working together in the unprecedented collaboration. In a first step, the partners will examine the industrial-level transformation carbon dioxide emissions from paper manufacturing into surfactants, contained in dishwashing and laundry products, paints and steel coatings. 

The findings will inform industry and the Government about the feasibility of using non virgin fossil fuel sources for many household and consumer products. The group will assess both the technical feasibility of the new and highly-innovative processes, as well as the economic impacts for creating a new supply chain. 

The Flue2Chem project could form the basis for the development of carbon harvesting on a commercial scale. As well as cutting emissions from manufacturing, it could reduce the need for oil and gas extraction in future to make detergent and other consumer products. 

Graeme Cruikshank, Chief Technology and Innovation Officer at CPI said:

This is the first step in determining if waste carbon dioxide could be used in chemical processes to make household goods. Reducing carbon dioxide in this way would reduce emissions from factories, while at the same time reduce the amount of oil needed for manufacturing cleaning products.”

Al Sanderson, Flue2Chem Project Manager, said:

For the last 14 months, we have been preparing for this moment. The chemical processes that will turn carbon dioxide into surfactant contained in many cleaning products have been identified and are being optimised. Each step is being closely measured so that we can see the economic, environmental and social impact of this new way to make common chemicals used in everyday products. 

This will enable the design of new supply chains that will not need virgin fossil carbon to make these products in future.” 

Beena Sharma, CEO and Co-Founder of CCUI, said:

Capturing carbon dioxide and utilising it back into the industry supports a circular carbon economy and makes significant contributions to net-zero goals. This project highlights the importance of collaboration, and we look forward to deploying the technology in the coming months to a second emitter site in Scotland.”

CPI is your innovation partner to make your ideas a reality.