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Public Radio's Environmental News Magazine (follow us on Google News)

Biz Note: Canning CO2

Air Date: Week of

Living on Earth's Jennifer Chu reports on a deal that will ultimately package Shell Chemical's carbon dioxide emissions in a can. That is, a soda can.


PIPPIN ROSS: Coming up, under a Moroccan sun sprouts a solar power industry. First, this environmental business note with Jennifer Chu.

CHU: Soda makers will soon get more fizz for their pop. That's thanks to a deal between Shell Chemicals Corporation and a French owned natural gas provider in Canada. The fizz is carbon dioxide and the deal means that tens of thousands of tons of it, which would normally be released into the atmosphere as waste from Shell's fuel combustion and chemical processing, might now turn up in your next soft drink.

Now, the excess carbon dioxide is sent through a pipeline to a neighboring gas company called Air Liquide. The pipeline pumps out carbon dioxide that's about 98 percent pure. The next step is to take the moisture out of the gas, burn the contaminants away, and then liquefy what's left. The liquefied carbon dioxide is then trucked off to various soft drink manufacturers.

The carbon dioxide comes from one of Shell's chemical plants in Alberta, and represents more than 60 percent of that plant's total emissions. Shell's plan is to eventually sell 62,000 tons of carbon dioxide to Air Liquide each year. In return, Air Liquide will be the Shell plant's sole supplier of steam and electrical power. The deal comes on the heals of final negotiations over the Kyoto Protocol, the treaty that aims to reduce emissions of so-called greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide. That's this week's Business Note. I'm Jennifer Chu.

ROSS: And you're listening to Living On Earth.



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