Two Indian chemists invent groundbreaking CO2 capture and utilisation method

Tuticorin chemical plant

Tuticorin Alkali Chemical plant in Indian State of Tamil Nadu has become world’s first to feature a new method to capture carbon emission and convert it into baking soda and other useful compounds. Two Indian chemists from Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur invented a chemical that can strip the CO2 to facilitate filtering and conversion into useful compounds including those used in glass manufacturing, sweeteners, detergents and paper products. While the carbon capture concept isn’t new and is being explored by scientists around the globe, the Indian method is practical, affordable at small-scale industrial models, and is brings down overall operational cost as well.

The company has calculated to convert about 60,000 tonnes of CO2 emission annually. This method has potential to capture and convert upto 10% of global emission from coal.

CO2 capture and baking soda

What’s really admirable is that this is a Carbon Capture and Utilization process. While Carbon Capture methods focus only on storage of carbon, this process makes use of the captured carbon and convert it into usable compounds.

Surprisingly, the two Indian chemists could not find any encouragement or funds from their own government to carry on their research. However, the UK government offered grants and special entrepreneur status. They received finances from a British entrepreneur support scheme. These students finally delivered this incredible and practical solution to reduce carbon emissions from coal burning in industries. The invented chemical is now a patented method to filter CO2 molecules.

Well, it’s actually sad to hear that India’s young scientists are falling victim to their government’s ignorance. Moreover, such relevant research that was proposing solution to a crucial, global catastrophe, needed to be taken up at once by a country that is the host of some of world’s most polluted cities. The capital of India currently wears the crown of most polluted city in the world. Also, the company that installed this system isn’t receiving any subsidy from the government. Considering the global trend, it’s a matter of concern for India’s policy makers.

: The Guardian



Madan has been writing about eco-friendly gadgets and technologies for over 5 years now. He has an inclination for all things green and wonderful. He is a local social activist with a global vision. When not writing, Madan can be seen capturing the best of urban wildlife in his DSLR lens.