Enterprises eye greener business in China

By Li Xiaoyang
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Beijing Review, November 10, 2021
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Ever dream of sleeping on clouds? The dream now can become a reality as carbon dioxide (CO2) can serve as the raw material for the manufacturing of mattresses. At the Fourth China International Import Expo (CIIE), held from November 5-10 in Shanghai, Germany-based chemical company Covestro makes its debut at the expo. The company has presented one of its key technologies, namely Triturn CO2 technology, which enables CO2 to be reused as an alternative raw material in polyol production to replace up to 20 percent of fossil feedstock. Polyol can be used to make mattresses, fabric materials and decorative products for vehicles.

Convestro is only one of the exhibitors at the 2021 CIIE presenting their low-carbon efforts. As carbon neutrality becomes a hot topic, carbon capture and storage technologies have entered the spotlight. Many major emitters in industrial sectors, such as power generation and manufacturing, have started research and development or cooperated with technology suppliers on identifying and capturing carbon to cut emissions. Swiss-based industrial company ABB introduces its robots and low-carbon solutions during this year's expo. According to the company, it has developed a system to monitor greenhouse gas occurring in the air across different environmental settings. It has further established a platform for monitoring and adjusting power use in buildings, through which users can save energy when demand is low--and even sell the extra electricity to those in need for win-win cooperation. The platform has been applied in ABB itself and several of its business partners.

Air Products, a U.S.-based industrial gas supplier, brought its carbon capture technologies and carbon-free hydrogen project to the CIIE. According to Yu Feng, Vice President of Air Products (China), it has developed diverse technologies to capture carbon during the use of fossil fuel, including the separation of CO2 through ammine and distillation.

"Air Products has also introduced technologies for reducing carbon emission during the production of hydrogen. Our hydrogen station at the venue in Zhangjiakou, Hebei Province, for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics has already completed successful trials," Yu said. In 2018, the Lu'an coal gasification project of Air Products in Changzhi, Shanxi Province, came to life, supplying syngas and other industrial gases to the syngas-to-oil production of Shanxi Lu'an Coal-based Clean Energy Co. Ltd.

Several manufacturing companies have imported green products into the Chinese market. Japan-based printer company Epson exhibited its heat-free printing technology, during which its printers only take up an amount of power equal to that consumed by a domestic light bulb. German engineering and technology company Bosch is yet another highlight, with displays products ranging from home appliances to automobile parts. It debuted one of its new products during the expo, namely a device for the disinfection of diverse fabric goods for consumers with upgraded demands.

Bosch has also stepped up its efforts by participating in China's carbon neutrality drive in the auto sector. According to Jiang Jian, a vice president of Bosch China, the company presented auto parts such as windscreen wipers and engines for electric vehicles, which can contribute to reducing energy consumption whilst driving by reducing the size of those parts all the while improving the accuracy and durability of operation. During the expo, Bosch signed a contract to work together with Chinese automaker FAW on smarter and greener transportation.

As green consumption becomes a trend, many enterprises have turned to using recyclable materials and reducing energy consumption along the manufacturing processes of their products. During the expo, French food group Danone showcased a piece of clothing made from recycled plastic bottles. Many international fashion and luxury brands such as Beckmann and Fendi also impressed visitors with their products made from reusable materials.

As the Chinese Government works on cutting carbon emissions and enhancing public awareness about the topic, Chinese consumers, especially those born in the 1990s, have started to focus much more on environmental-friendly and organic products, Bruno Chevot, President of Danone Greater China & Oceania, told a forum during the CIIE on November 5.

For enterprises, the key is not only to reduce carbon emissions in production, but also enhance supply chains to gain access to green raw materials and achieve green production from the onset, he said.

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