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Chapter 5 of Eni's Story of CO2 is left unwritten, as the world must decide how to move forward with the use of fossil fuels. Though doing nothing is not an option, using natural gas is. A safer alternative to fossil fuels that releases half as much CO2, natural gas can meet the world's energy needs as we wait for renewable technologies to advance and scale.

Learn more about the future of energy in the final episode of Eni's Story of CO2 series.

Did you know that the use of fossil fuels dates back long before the industrial revolution? 6,000 years ago, the Sumerians, Assyrians, and Babylonians learned to recover oil at the banks of the Euphrates. Since then, the burning of fossil fuels has multiplied the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere. In just the last 100 years, this amount has grown more than 40%.

Learn more about the history of fossil fuels in the fourth episode of Eni's Story of CO2 series.

In the cycle of life, carbon is released from deceased living species. But does it always return into the atmosphere? No, sometimes carbon becomes trapped between rocks, slowly growing into deposits of carbon, oil, and natural gas. These resources may be considered renewable… if you can wait 100 million years.

Learn more about how carbon created fossil fuels in the third episode of Eni's Story of CO2 series.

Chapter 2: CO2 Gives Life

Carbon has a bad rep, but did you know it's a building block of life? As atoms evolved, carbon trapped in CO2 was freed, giving way to the creation of complex molecules that use photosynthesis to convert carbon to food. Soon after, plants, herbivores, and carnivores began populating the earth and the cycle of life began.

Learn more about how carbon created life on Earth in the second episode of Eni's Story of CO2 series.

Everyone knows about carbon dioxide, but where did it come from? The story of CO2 begins with the birth of our solar system. After the explosion of a supernova, cloud particles condensed to form our sun and planets. These particles included carbon molecules, which heat both the Earth's core and its atmosphere. Yet while carbon created this world, it could also endanger it.

Learn more about the complex history of carbon in Eni's Story of CO2 series

From waste to fuel

It's time to rethink kitchen scraps. Aldo Bosetti, inventor and project manager at Eni, has created a new Waste-to-Fuel technology to recover and transform urban waste into biofuel. The technology, which has been scaled from a research lab in Novara to a power plant in Sicily, converts biomass to bio-oil. Bosetti puts it simply: "the plant mimics what nature has been doing for millions of years."

Learn more about the Waste-to-Fuel technology in Eni's new Switch series.

Eni recognizes that working towards a carbon-neutral future means more than simply reducing CO₂ emissions. Today, scientists at Eni's R&D labs are finding new ways to use CO₂ as a resource. From mineralizing it to create products for construction to converting it into methanol to power cars, the beneficial properties of CO₂ are bountiful. All that remains is scaling what's done in the laboratory to an industry level.

Learn more about the many uses of CO₂ in the 2nd episode of Eni's new Switch series.

Conventional solar panels are hallmarks of renewable energy, but they are not always efficient. On vertical surfaces or in areas of low, diffused light, these panels are limited in both functionality and aesthetic appeal. To address this gap, Eni's Research Center in Novara developed and patented a new Luminescent solar concentrator (LSC) technology, a colored and transparent solar panel that uses sunlight in a revolutionary way.

Learn more about the Smart Window solar panel in Eni's new Switch series.