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Coca Cola To The Carbon Rescue

I can imagine the shared advertising now : a cartoon of a large tanker, shaped like a floating Coke bottle, with the caption “We funnel your fizz”.

It seems the only shipping units on the Planet capable of transporting large quantities of Carbon Dioxide gas from source to sequestration point are those owned by the world’s largest soft drinks firm, you know, the one accused of pilfering fresh water from poor countries.

“Tankers to sail off with carbon waste : Danny Fortson : THE global fight against climate change could lead to the creation of a new market: carbon-dioxide shipping. The world’s biggest cargo carriers, including Maersk and IM Skaugen, have begun talks with power companies in Britain and Europe that could see them build new fleets of tankers specially made to transport the greenhouse gas captured from clean-coal power stations. The news comes amid a big push by governments to clean up the world’s dirtiest and most plentiful fuel. This week energy secretary Ed Miliband will give the green light to a new generation of coal-fired stations, the first in more than 30 years, but only if they are fitted with experimental carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology. CCS works by capturing carbon dioxide, liquefying it, then piping it underground into geological formations like spent oilfields. The large-scale roll-out of the technology, however, will require a vast new infrastructure to handle the millions of tonnes of carbon dioxide that would otherwise be released into the atmosphere…Today there are only four tankers in the world that are purpose-built for shipping carbon dioxide. These are all owned by Coca-Cola, which uses the greenhouse gas to put the fizz in its drinks…”

However, there’s a small detail for those thinking of expanding their fleets : tankers are generally polluting, even more so than millions of cars…

“Health risks of shipping pollution have been ‘underestimated’ : One giant container ship can emit almost the same amount of cancer and asthma-causing chemicals as 50m cars, study finds : Britain and other European governments have been accused of underestimating the health risks from shipping pollution following research which shows that one giant container ship can emit almost the same amount of cancer and asthma-causing chemicals as 50m cars. Confidential data from maritime industry insiders based on engine size and the quality of fuel typically used by ships and cars shows that just 15 of the world’s biggest ships may now emit as much pollution as all the world’s 760m cars. Low-grade ship bunker fuel (or fuel oil) has up to 2,000 times the sulphur content of diesel fuel used in US and European automobiles…”

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