How Kia is using carbon capture technology to reduce production emissions

South Korean car manufacturer Kia has demonstrated its commitment to develop carbon capture and regeneration technologies as the company attempts to significantly reduce emissions in its production process, as revealed in its latest CSR report.

Kia’s Move sustainability report indicated that the firm’s carbon capturing technology, which has been verified since 2013, is expected to reduce carbon emissions by 20,000 tonnes when applied to production lines.

Kia has also announced plans to develop technologies for turning captured carbon into liquefied carbon dioxide to be used in a biomass fuel mix alongside materials such as micro algae. The liquefied CO2 will also be used for welding operations.

 “We continue efforts to identify and reduce the impact of our vehicles on the environment throughout their lifespan, from raw materials and production to use and disposal of vehicles,” Kia vice chairman and chief executive Hyoung-Keun Lee said.

“Through all of these sustainability endeavours, Kia will remain committed to its social responsibility as a global corporate citizen. Beyond the company’s growth, everyone at Kia is devoting them – selves to making the world a better place economically, socially and environmentally.”

Connected vehicles

Elsewhere in KIA’s sustainability report, the firm highlighted a commitment to conserve and reduce greenhouse gases (GHG), with CO2 emissions falling from the previous year by 2.8%, from 545 kgCO2-eq/vehicle to 530 kgCO2-eq/vehicle per-vehicle production.

Meanwhile, a year-on-year trend of waste reduction was continued by the carmaker, which posted a 1.2% fall in waste from 169 kg/vehicle to 161.6 kg/vehicle. However, water usage results were far less impressive, with a sharp rise from 98 g/vehicle in 2014 to 111.6g representing a 13.7% increase.

KIA revealed that structural changes are occurring in terms of individualising customer needs for green vehicles and autonomous driving. It was recently reported that KIA is investing $10.2bn into the development of hybrid and pure electric vehicles (EVs), with an additional $2bn going towards the development of autonomous vehicle technology.

Driving regeneration

Kia’s carbon manufacturing efforts reflect a growing number of carbon capture and regeneration technology measures introduced by established car manufacturers in an attempt to accelerate the industry’s low-carbon transition.

American car giant Ford recently set itself a five-year window to introduce new foam and plastic components made from carbon dioxide feedstock, while the company has also invested time, research and money into remanufacturing techniques.

Faced with a European market that could triple by 2030, Ford has developed an innovative recycling technique that rejuvenates worn-out engine blocks and delivers a 50% reduction in CO2 emissions compared to producing a new engine.

This follows on from yesterday’s report that Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) has introduced real-world tests of Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CAV) in the UK over the next four years in a bid to reduce congestion, ease driver stress and help prevent road accidents.

George Ogleby

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie