ExxonMobil embraces plan to cut carbon dioxide emissions

Caitlin Cosper
By Caitlin Cosper
For business
Chemistry could help ExxonMobil reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

ExxonMobil recently announced a partnership with Mosaic Materials that will explore methods to remove carbon dioxide emissions.

Based in Irving, TX, ExxonMobil is a global business leader with locations around the world. ExxonMobil ranked second on the 2018 Forbes 500 list with a revenue of $290.2 billion in the last year. A powerhouse in the energy industry, ExxonMobil’s agreement to partner with Mosaic Materials could lead to a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions through innovative technology.

Mosaic Materials is a tech company “dedicated to reducing the cost and environmental impact of fossil fuels through the application of proprietary, highly efficient gas separation technologies.” The company was established in 2014 and has performed extensive research into technology and processes that can reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

Chemistry used to remove carbon dioxide

According to the ExxonMobil press release, the breakthrough technology “uses advanced chemistry to remove carbon dioxide from emissions sources.” Through research, Mosaic Materials has discovered a process “using porous solids, known as metal-organic frameworks, to separate carbon dioxide from air or flue gas.”

“Our proprietary technology allows us to separate carbon dioxide from nearly any gas mixture using moderate temperature and pressure changes, substantially increasing energy efficiency and decreasing costs,” Mosaic Materials CEO Thomas McDonald explained in the press release.

Scientists have recently warned about the amount of carbon dioxide emissions and the impact these emissions can have on the environment. Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas primarily responsible for global warming through the “greenhouse effect,” which NASA describes as “warming that results when the atmosphere traps heat radiating from Earth toward space.” Burning fossil fuels such as coal, oil and gas releases carbon dioxide into the air, causing global temperatures to rise.

Why efforts to reduce CO2 matter

In recent years, carbon dioxide emissions have risen at an unprecedented rate. Experts estimate a record high of 37.1 billion tons of carbon dioxide are emitted into the atmosphere annually. Scientists warn that rising temperatures are a direct result of the increase in emissions and will permanently affect the environment.

As the leading powerhouse in the energy industry, ExxonMobil plays a massive role in carbon dioxide emissions and the environment. The ExxonMobil 2017 sustainability report cites four pillars of risk management in relation to climate change: “mitigating emissions in our operations, developing scalable technology solutions, providing customer solutions that reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and engaging on climate change policy.”

Additionally, ExxonMobil recently announced a 10-year agreement with up to $100 million in investments with the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory and National Energy Technology Laboratory “to research and develop advanced lower-emissions technologies.”

ExxonMobil possess a working interest in around one-fifth of the world’s carbon capture capacity and reports that the company captures approximately seven million tons of carbon dioxide annually. With the dire warnings from scientists and environmental experts in mind, the partnership between ExxonMobil and Mosaic Materials suggests hope that the largest publicly traded oil and gas company will continue to cut carbon dioxide emissions and encourage sustainability.

Caitlin Cosper is a writer within the energy and power industry. Born in Georgia, she attended the University of Georgia before earning her master’s in English at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.