Coca-Cola bottler unveils plans to develop captured CO2 to sugar technology


Coca-Cola bottler Coca-Cola Europacific Partners (CCEP) has announced a collaboration through its investment platform CCEP Ventures with the University of California, Berkeley (UCB) that aims to develop scalable methods of converting captured CO2 into sugar.

CCEP Ventures announced this week it has made an initial investment with UCB which will support the Peidong Yang Research Group’s work on foundational research that could enable the production of sugar from CO2 at an industrial scale. CCEP added that it expected to make future investments to help drive the technology from lab to pilot phase.

The company said that the investment – the precise level of which was not disclosed – demonstrates the role that innovative new technologies can play in its journey to reaching net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040.

It added that the development of lab scale prototypes could make the generation of essential raw and packaging materials more sustainable in the long-term by reducing some of the largest sources of emissions in global supply chains, while also saving on material, transportation, and logistics costs.

With agricultural ingredients, including sugar, amounting to approximately a quarter of CCEP’s overall carbon footprint, it said the new technology could not only reduce emissions associated with the sugar manufacturing processes, but also positively contribute to optimising land usage as less arable land becomes available due to global population growth.

In the longer-term it said it hoped the technology could also enable the conversion of captured CO2 into PET plastic more efficient by reducing the need for crude oil in the manufacturing process and significantly lowering costs.

“At CCEP, we want to grow sustainably, producing beverages that people love while helping to build a better future for our business, communities and the planet,” said Craig Twyford, head of CCEP Ventures.

“CCEP Ventures is helping us find solutions to industry challenges and provide funding to make these foundational technologies a reality. We’re excited to be involved in this project that could lead the industry in the development of transformational technology capable of converting CO2 into more complex, usable goods.”

Professor Peidong Yang at University of California, Berkeley, said: “air to sugar conversion could significantly impact our ability to preserve the natural world. This is a bold scientific vision that would bring immediate environmental benefits, fundamentally transforming the production and distribution of goods across the world. We are pleased to be working with CCEP Ventures on research that could make a significant impact on our ability to create a more sustainable future.”

The Peidong Yang Group at the University of California, Berkeley recently received a prize from NASA for a viable prototype for conversion of CO2 to sugar for potential use on long-haul space missions.

The news follows an announcement from CCEP last week that it has advanced another aspect of its net zero strategy by establishing a novel sustainability-linked finance scheme with Rabobank, which is designed to offer firms in the soft drinks bottler’s supply chain discounted financing rates if they meet key environmental and social goals.



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