Chemistry Holds the Keys to a Clean Energy Future

Sep 14, 2022 10:00 AM ET

Every one of us has a morning routine. You wake up and turn on the lights. Maybe you cook breakfast or turn on the coffeemaker for a quick pick-me-up before work. Perhaps you hop in the car and drive your kids to school or commute to the office for the workday. But what if I told you that chemistry may soon change your morning rituals?

Well, maybe your routine won’t change, but the energy that powers it certainly will.

Whatever your routine is, it’s made possible by the energy that powers everything from our electricity to our cars and public transit to the technology at our fingertips. But as our society increasingly demands a more sustainable future, a transition to cleaner energy is imperative—and chemistry holds the keys to take us there.

With every new day, we move closer to clean energy solutions in our lives. In fact, I had the opportunity to visit the White House for President Biden’s ceremonial signing of the Inflation Reduction Act, which makes significant clean energy investments in applications like hydrogen power, electric vehicles (EVs), and more sustainable thermal management solutions—three areas where Chemours chemistry is playing a central role.

Let’s start with clean hydrogen, which stands to be a real game-changer in our energy mix here in the U.S. and across the world. As the leading domestic manufacturer of ion exchange materials, Chemours Nafion™ membrane technology is at the heart of the hydrogen economy making Chemours chemistry essential to the production and deployment of clean hydrogen. More specifically, our Nafion™ membranes are central to the technology that uses renewable power to convert water into clean, renewable hydrogen. When needed, this clean hydrogen can be converted back to electricity through fuel cells, where Chemours likewise has an important role to play.

Our Nafion™ membranes also sit at the core of the fuel cells to help produce emission-free electricity. The potential applications for these fuel cells are vast. They have the potential to fuel heavy-duty vehicles and the car you drive for your daily commute, as well as provide backup power to local hospitals, office buildings, critical data centers, and heavy industry.

And it’s not just hydrogen energy. Chemours chemistry is also essential to the present and future of EVs. The fact is, the transportation sector is rapidly changing, especially as battery technology improves and becomes more cost-effective. And investments like those in the Inflation Reduction Act will only hasten the adoption of EVs.

No matter where you look in an EV, chemistry plays a role. For example, at Chemours our chemistry is enabling next generation lithium-ion battery technologies—allowing for reduced production costs, longer battery life and increased driving range. It’s also in climate-friendly thermal management solutions, like Chemours Opteon™ refrigerants, which help keep EVs cool—from under the hood (or the trunk in the case of most EVs) to the cabin. Importantly, our chemistry is also in the semiconductors that are critical to EV electronic systems. The bottom line is, as more Americans switch to EVs, Chemours chemistry will be there to help you get from point A to point B—whether you’re commuting to work, driving to the grocery store, road-tripping, or picking up the kids from school.

Chemistry is also behind the transition to more sustainable and climate friendly ways to heat and cool our homes. For example, Chemours Opteon™ low global warming potential refrigerants can be used in more energy efficient air conditioners and in heat pumps which, despite their name, can provide heating and cooling. The transition to these technologies is already underway and is advanced by steps taken in the Inflation Reduction Act—and for good reason. They increase energy efficiency, reduce energy consumption and CO2 emissions, and provide cost savings to households. Simply put, chemistry has the power to meet our daily needs to heat and cool our homes, while also ensuring we do so in a way that is sustainable and better for the planet.

From EVs to hydrogen energy to thermal management for our homes and industries, we are witnessing a clean energy transition here in the U.S.—one bolstered by public policy actions like the Inflation Reduction Act and investments like those we’re making at Chemours. With continued investment and more technological innovations, we can continue to strengthen energy independence here and abroad while moving to cleaner fuels.

So, while you’ll still have the energy you need to turn the lights on, drive your car, or start that pot of coffee in the morning, our chemistry will help ensure that the energy powering our daily lives is cleaner and more sustainable for you, your family, our communities, and our planet.

Mark Newman is the President and CEO of The Chemours Company, a different kind of chemistry company whose products impact every part of modern day living and enable a greener, low carbon future.

Read the original article here.