7.12 Long-term outlook, system transitions, decision-making and inertia
7.12.1 Longer-term mitigation options
Many technologies offer long-term potential for mitigating industrial GHG emissions, but interest has focused in three areas:
- Advanced biological processing, in which chemicals are produced by biological reactions that require lower energy input;
- Use of hydrogen for metal smelting, in fuel cells for electricity production, and as a fuel – provided the hydrogen is produced via a low or zero-carbon process – and;
- Nanotechnology, which could provided the basis for more efficient catalysts for chemical processing and for more effective conversion of low-temperature heat into electricity (Hillhouse and Touminen, 2001).
While some applications of these technologies could enter the marketplace by 2030, their widespread application, and impact on GHG emissions, is not expected until post-2030.