Becoming carbon negative

Carbon is one of the most common elements on the planet, and can be found in the atmosphere, oceans, living things, soil and rocks.

The carbon cycle is the natural movement of carbon between these places. For example, living things can emit CO2 into the atmosphere through breathing, decaying and burning, or they can absorb it, through photosynthesis. The ocean absorbs and emits CO2 as it moves between soil and rocks, and the atmosphere through weathering and volcanic activity. This carbon is known as biogenic carbon.

Fossil fuels such as coal, oil and gas are created by organisms dying and being buried deep underground over millions of years. Extracting and burning these fuels for energy releases new CO2 into the atmosphere at much higher rates and much faster than the natural carbon cycle can absorb, and this is causing global temperatures to rise and changing our climate. This carbon is known as fossil carbon.

Waste from households and businesses is composed of materials which contain both biogenic carbon such as paper, cardboard, and wood, and fossil carbon from materials containing plastics.

When this waste is processed in an EfW facility, both types of carbon are released into the atmosphere. When Cory installs the proposed carbon capture technology at Riverside 1 and Riverside 2, both types of carbon will be captured.

By capturing the fossil carbon (from plastic waste), Cory’s operations will achieve ‘net zero’, i.e. we will not be releasing new carbon into the atmosphere. By also capturing the carbon from biogenic materials (paper, cardboard, and wood), our operations will be carbon negative, because carbon that is part of the natural carbon cycle will also be permanently removed from the atmosphere.

Webinar event

Click the link below to watch the webinar event we hosted on Wednesday 15 November 2023.

Watch here

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