Coal Plant in South India revolutionizes the disposal of CO2

While the growth of industries ensures the economic success of a country, much harm can be brought about by the unplanned establishments. Thanks to such acts increase in pollution, harm to wildlife and human life and depletion in the ozone layer has been instrumental in causing Global warming.

While most of the industries are focused on how to increase sales, a coal plant in India is trying to find the sustainable way of curbing the emission of harmful by-products.

Ramachadran Gopalan, who owns the plant, Tuticorin Alkali Chemicals, told BBC Radio 4 that they have been turning captured carbon dioxide from a coal-powered boiler into valuable chemicals such as baking powder, in what is thought to be the world first.

With the help of an Indian firm, Carbon Clean Solutions, they say they can save 66,000 tons of CO2 emissions a year. And the good news is that the scientists behind the process say the technique could be used to ultimately capture and transform up to 20 percent of global emissions from coal.

This comes months after an international team of scientists working in Iceland successfully demonstrated that CO2 emissions can be pumped underground and altered chemically to form a solid stone.

In the Tuticorin setup, the plant runs a coal-fired burner to make steam that powers its various chemical manufacturing processes. A mist containing Carbon Clean’s chemical separates the CO2 emissions in the burner’s chimney, which are then fed into a mixing chamber with salt and ammonia.

The end product can then be used to produce baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) or a range of other compounds, for use in things such as glass manufacture, detergents, disinfectants, and sweeteners.The plant supposedly has almost zero emissions now since utilizing the technique.

When asked about the reason for his setup, Ramachandran Gopalan replied “I am a businessman. I never thought about saving the planet. I needed a reliable stream of CO2, and this was the best way of getting it.”

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Another commendable feature of the system is that making new chemicals and products as their end products rather than simply storing it somewhere in a useless, dormant state which
arms the company with the ability to on-sell a byproduct could be incredibly important in making this technology financially viable in the bigger picture.

The fact that Tuticorin installation is running without subsidies from the government suggests the leap made by researchers to build profitable, practical system that could have the commercial potential to help to other plants and industries as well in near future.

Source – BBC


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