Carbon dioxide notes

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Carbon dioxide (CO2) is an industrial gas used in a broad range of activities such as for aerating beverages, chemical synthesis and as a processing aid at Western Australia's alumina refineries. It is normally produced as a by-product and not specifically synthesised (except in the Solvay Process). Carbon dioxide is produced by CSBP at their ammonia plant and about 1 000 tonnes is sold to Alcoa as an aid to processing.

The Kyoto Protocol requires industrialised countries to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide by an annual average of about 5 per cent below 1990 levels for the years 2008 to 2012. World production is around 7.1 billion tonnes (of which 4.5 is absorbed by plants and the sea). (One hectare of forest can absorb 23 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year.) Though 84 signatories, only 16 have been ratified. Australia is party to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Australia produces 275 million tonnes of which 45 per cent is by the power industry.

Woodside Offshore petroleum extracts some 500 000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year as a by-product of natural gas production (2.4 mol per cent in natural gas) at the Burrup Peninsula (near Dampier in the north west of the State). Other gas producers extract smaller amounts of carbon dioxide from the gas.

The massive Gorgon gas deposit off Western Australia containing 15 per cent carbon dioxide, so that even at stage 1, the project will be stripping 1 million tonnes of carbon dioxide per year.


The gas is stripped off the gas stream roduced by counter current extraction is the Sulfinol unit (uses a mixture of di-isopropanolamine and tetrahydrothiophene dioxide in water).

The Gorgon project, if it goes ahead, at stage 1 alone, will strip 1 million tonnes of carbon dioxide from the LNG.

Carbon dioxide emissions in Asia in 10,000 metric tonnes 1994

China 828,436
Japan 303,267
India 236,448
South Korea 91,853
Australia 75,192
Indonesia 66,964
Thailand 39,535
Malaysia 39,535

Government policy

In September 2000, the Federal Government said it will not introduce greenhouse measures which will affect industry competitiveness. 

The key Government commitments included in the announcement are:


To maintain the competitiveness of Australian industry


To not introduce a mandatory emissions trading scheme in Australia until Australia has ratified the Kyoto Protocol, the Protocol has entered into force and an international trading scheme is in place. Even then, the Government will only introduce a scheme in Australia if it is in the national interest.


To avoid measures which disadvantage companies taking early action to reduce emissions.


Chemlink Pty Ltd ABN 71 007 034 022. Publications 1997. All contents Copyright © 1997. All rights reserved. Information in this document is subject to change without notice. Products and companies referred to are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies or mark holders. URL:

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