Hana Financial Group, KAIST team up on artificial photosynthesis
Hana Financial Group will contribute 20 billion won ($16.6 million) to the development of artificial photosynthesis technology in collaboration with KAIST.
This is part of the group’s effort to support Korea's ambition of achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
Artificial photosynthesis refers to a chemical process designed to convert carbon dioxide into carbon neutral energy or a fuel with reduced carbon emissions, inspired by the process of natural photosynthesis.
It is a key pillar of CCUS (carbon capture utilization and storage) technology, a business that is projected to grow from 7.5 trillion won in 2022 to 30 trillion won in 2026, according to market tracker Industry Arc.
Artificial photosynthesis is accomplished with solar-energy-powered devices designed to split or combine chemical component of resources (like water) to turn them into more useful fuels. Fuels that are able to be produced by artificial photosynthesis include hydrocarbons such as formic acid, methanol, methane, or pure hydrogen fuel.
Hana Financial Group said Thursday it will finance 10 billion won of KAIST's R&D and another 10 billion won to jointly establish a laboratory dedicated to artificial photosynthesis called KAIST Artificial Photosynthesis Laboratory.
“Commercializing carbon-related technology is an urgent need as net zero carbon emissions become more important,” said Kim Jung-tai, chairman of Hana Financial Group Thursday.
“The partnership between Hana Financial Group and KAIST will act as a game changer in solving climate change issues and commercializing technology that can achieve net zero carbon emissions.”
The partnership with KAIST is part of Hana Financial Group’s ESG (environment, social, governance) initiative announced last April.
It pledged to commit 60 trillion won to various ESG-related projects through 2050.
The initiative includes issuing ESG bonds worth 25 trillion won and financing 25 trillion won in Korean New Deal projects announced by the government in 2020. The New Deal pledged 220 trillion won in investments in digital and environment-related projects.
Hana Financial Group also announced it would stop financing coal-fired power plants at home and abroad.
“The latest partnership is expected to create a synergy effect in solving a net zero emission dilemma and climate change by bringing together Kaist’s vision and technology with Hana Financial Group’s determination in ESG management,” said Kaist President Lee Kwang-hyung.
“I hope the collaboration will prove to be an exemplary case.”
BY JIN EUN-SOO [firstname.lastname@example.org]