Prof. Zain Yamani, CENT Director, was one of the invited panelists at the S20 webinar series on the role of science and community in the circular economy. The webinar, jointly organized by KFUPM and KAUST, took place on the 24th of August, 2020. Professor Zain gave a short presentation on carbon capture, sequestration, and utilization for circular carbon economy (CCE). He highlighted the problems of CO2 emission to the environment and later presented the 4R's (Reduce, Remove, Re-cycle, and Re-use) of the circular carbon economy in relation to mitigating the effect of CO2 in our society. In his speech, he gave the different scenarios by which the 4R's can be applied to solve the danger posed by CO2 emissions. He indicated how CO2 can be REDUCED by efficient use of energy, fuel switching, and the use of alternate sources of energy such as renewables and nuclear. How it can be REMOVED by natural capture through ocean and forest or by CO2 capture and sequestration. He also stated how chemists have successfully developed metal organic framework materials with very high specific area capable of capturing CO2 at very low levels, which can then be released through pressure or temperature swings into cartridges.
He noted how CO2 can be RE-CYCLED or utilized by several processes requiring CO2 as part of their feedstock, such as in the production of urea, cement, synthetic fuels, and other chemicals. Lastly, it can be RE-USED for enhanced oil recovery, fracking, and in food processing. He concluded his presentation with three main remarks; noting that the abrupt change from hydrocarbon is not practical, but rather harmful to a number of countries, stating that the challenge is to have an economically viable circular carbon economy while keeping the globe safe and sound, and emphasized on the importance of having international collaboration to promote a holistic CCE plan in strategizing, infrastructural development, and progress monitoring.