The slogan of this online conference was: “In our sights – the future” and it considered a wide range of global problems from climate change to a shortage of resources to the “migration tsunami” and the threat of new pandemics.
Rodney Allam, a British engineer and chemist, spoke to participants about the array of environmental problems and challenges faced by civilisation – from CO2 emissions and global warming to technological disposal of plastics and production of “green’ hydrogen through electrolysis.
“In 1961, the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere amounted to 312 parts per million (ppm) – and the level has since risen to 410 ppm, with the rate of concentration of carbon dioxide gas ever increasing…,” he told the gathering.
“This is happening because of anthropogenic influences. Over the same period, the world’s population has grown from three billion to eight billion.”
Much of the academic’s address was devoted to his own invention – the Allam cycle (the technology of converting hydrocarbon fuels into energy while capturing carbon dioxide and water).
This technology involves producing electricity with no harmful emissions into the atmosphere. Professor Allam told the gathering that an experimental gas power station using this technology and with a capacity of 50 MW was already operating in the United States.
But he was emphatic on one point: despite the development of renewable energy sources, humanity cannot completely abandon the use of fossil fuels.
“You cannot control demand for power in any given territory. You have to meet that demand,” he said. “And that is possible only with a system which has several complementary energy sources.”
You can read more about academic Allam’s research in CO2 capture in the report “Ten key ideas in energy over the next 10 years” – presented by the Global Energy Association in December 2020.