Asahi Group to Create CO2 Absorbing Vending Machines

Listen to this story:

Using Vending Machines That Absorb Atmospheric CO2

Asahi Soft Drinks Co., Ltd., under Asahi Group Holdings, Ltd., announces that, in June of this year, it will begin a proof-of-concept demonstration of a CO2 resource recycling model that makes use of vending machines. In this experiment, Asahi Soft Drinks will install new vending machines that are capable of absorbing CO2 from the atmosphere. The company then plans to utilize the absorbed CO2 as an industrial raw material in fertilizers, concrete, and other products.

This initiative is the first of its kind in Japan and Asahi Soft Drinks aims to contribute to the realization of a decarbonized society through expanding the scale of this initiative utilizing such vending machines beginning from 2024. Patents are pending for both the vending machine design that enables the absorption of atmospheric CO2 as well as the CO2 resource recycling initiative that makes use of these vending machines.

Absorption of CO2

In June, Asahi Soft Drinks will begin installing uniquely designed vending machines in Japan. Conventional vending machines draw in ambient air and convert it into cold or hot air through an air conditioning system in order to cool or heat the products stored within. These new vending machines are internally equipped with a special material that will enable them to filter out and absorb atmospheric CO2. Absorbing CO2 does not affect the operation of the vending machines.

The volume of CO2 absorbed by each vending machine is expected to offset up to 20% of the CO2 emissions generated in producing the electricity used to operate the machines, and this amount is equivalent to the annual absorption volume of approximately 20 Japanese cedar trees (56-60 years old).

See related article: Japan Aims To Boost Hydrogen Supply to 12 Million Metric Tons by 2040

Roughly 30 vending machines will be installed, mainly in the Kanto and Kansai regions in Japan, to conduct this proof-of-concept demonstration. The volume and speed of CO2 absorption by the machines will be compared and verified by installing them in a variety of different locations, both outdoors and in indoor venues, where CO2 concentrations are said to be high.

Asahi Soft Drinks also aims to develop completely carbon-neutral vending machines, in which CO2 emission and absorption volumes are equal, by continuing to develop materials with high CO2 absorption capacities in the future.

Utilization of Absorbed CO2

The company plans to utilize the CO2 absorbed by these vending machines as a raw material in various industrial applications, through co-creation with local governments and businesses that endorse this initiative. For instance, in addition to boosting soil carbon sequestration rates by blending absorbents into fertilizers sprayed onto soil, Asahi Soft Drinks is also considering using it as an additive in concrete to immobilize CO2 and form submerged seaweed beds as a means of restoring blue carbon ecosystems*.

Asahi Group sets forth “Contribute to realizing a sustainable society through our business” as one of Our Principles under the Asahi Group Philosophy. In order to respond to climate change, a key sustainability initiative, Asahi Group has set forth “Asahi Carbon Zero” as its medium- to long-term CO2 emissions reduction target, with the aim of achieving zero CO2 emissions by 2050.