High Impact Technology Uncovering the Power of Blockchain

From Ahlam Rais Reading Time: 4 min

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Changing times call for unique as well as innovative solutions and blockchain is truly a game changing technology in today’s ever competing world. Numerous industries are already exploring this technology to keep a track of different aspects of their business as they have realized that the blockchain technology is here to stay and is only going to strengthen its presence from here on.

Blockchain is used across diverse sectors right from plastics to oil and gas and chemicals.
Blockchain is used across diverse sectors right from plastics to oil and gas and chemicals.
(Source: fotomek - stock.adobe.com)

Nowadays, there are many new digital technologies that are entering the market and each one of them have their own special features and benefits. The blockchain technology is one of them. The global blockchain technology market size is expected to reach 1,431.54 billion dollars by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 87.7 % from 2023 to 2030, according to a new report by Grand View Research. This significant growth goes onto show the huge impact this technology will have on the world market.

Initially associated with cryptocurrency, the blockchain technology later came into the limelight owing to its systematic, structured and transparent approach which got many industrial sectors excited. Today, the technology is being explored for diverse applications and there is a good chance that it could be used for completely new and upcoming sectors as well.

What is blockchain?

So, how does this technology function? In simple words, it is a decentralized system that is capable of saving important information (data) in blocks (in serial order) which are then linked together to form a chain of blocks. What makes this technology unique is that no data can be overwritten or eliminated instead if any changes have to be made a fresh block is created with the altered information along with details such as date and time which helps companies to track the different changes made to the original data over a period of time. This helps to ensure greater transparency and becomes a trustworthy source for the firms.

Latest blockchain projects in action

As mentioned earlier, blockchain is used across diverse sectors right from plastics to oil and gas and chemicals, and has picked up steam. Industry players from across the globe are leaving no stone unturned to use the technology in order to meet their specific requirements and ambitious goals. Some of these ongoing projects are mentioned below:

Plastic recycling: A recent user of this technology is the South Korean company SK Geo Centric. The company has launched the country’s first blockchain-based platform to record and track the history of recycled plastic materials which includes its collection, recycling and its transformation into new products. With the help of this platform, the source and safety of collected waste plastics as well as additional information which will assist in the production phase of these sustainable products are made available. With this move, the firm aims to encourage the concept of plastic recycling by building trust among the stakeholders.

SK Geo Centric members are checking the plastic information of a product using the blockchain-based recycled plastic material history management platform.
SK Geo Centric members are checking the plastic information of a product using the blockchain-based recycled plastic material history management platform.
(Source: SK Innovation Co.)

CO2 consumption: In the energy segment, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) from the Gulf region and Siemens Energy, one of the leading players in the industry are making use of blockchain on a pilot scale to track the amount of CO2 used in the production of ammonia, aviation fuels and Murban crude. The technology will help regulators to certify the carbon intensity of these industrial solutions (the partnership aims at exploring the digital certification of these low-carbon industrial solutions) and also offer the firm’s customers an insight into the carbon footprint of their products. With this, Adnoc intends to showcase that its energy is the least carbon intensive in the oil and gas industry.

Sustainability certification: The blockchain technology has also been tested by the chemical industry. Last year, some of the major chemical players (Borealis, Neste, Shell, Trinseo and Asahi Kasei) along with appliance companies got together under a joint project by ISCC (International Sustainability and Carbon Certification) and Circularise, claimed to be one of the leading blockchain platforms, to assess a blockchain-based digital system with ISCC Plus certification. What made this project unique from other blockchain platforms was that a public blockchain was used as opposed to a private blockchain. The system ensured that no company could fake their ‘sustainable’ features and this also made the auditing procedure of certified parties more efficient.

Circular economy: In addition to this, another major chemical company Solvay is also experimenting with blockchain to develop the circular economy. The firm traces its products throughout the entire value chain to make recycling easy. The move is part of the European Union-funded Chemchain project which intends to create a decentralized open-source blockchain infrastructure to store and track chemical-related information along the supply chain.

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Hydrogen value-chain: Green hydrogen is another segment which is being explored by this technology. For example, in 2021, Acciona, the Spanish multinational conglomerate dedicated to the development and management of infrastructure and renewable energy, developed GreenH2chain – the world’s first blockchain-based digital tool that is capable of keeping a track of the entire hydrogen value chain in real-time.

The visual platform offers detailed information on the consumption of hydrogen and also provides an insight into the total CO2 emissions saved from being emitted into the environment with the help of useful and meaningful data. Initially, the tool will be incorporated in the Power to Green Hydrogen project in Spain following which it will be installed at other upcoming renewable hydrogen generation projects.

Conclusion: Adapting to blockchain is key

With all the above examples, one thing is certain – blockchain is on the rise and as the technology enters into different industries for different purposes and applications, it cannot be ignored by industry players. They will have to adapt to this dynamic technology if they want to stay competitive in the global market and grow significantly over the long term, otherwise they will become obsolete. As Winston Churchill once rightly said, “To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.” Industries will need to religiously follow this advice in the coming years to truly transform themselves and become part of a digitally connected world.