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Carbon capture and utilization

  • IAS NEXT, Lucknow
  • 13, Apr 2022
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A group of scientists from Indian Institute of Chemical Technology, IICT, Hyderabad have designed a hybrid material which can absorb greenhouse gas methane and convert it to clean hydrogen.

Key takeaways 

  • They have simulated a process of capturing carbon dioxide and converted it to high purity hydrogen from non-fuel grade bioethanol. 
  • These scientists have also designed a facility that can test such materials and help further carbon capture research at the institute.
  • The Ministry of Science and Technology in a statement said that these new materials and processes for carbon capture and utilisation could show new light for the global warming challenge.

What is Carbon capture and utilization?

  • Carbon capture and utilization (CCU) is the process of capturing carbon dioxide (CO2) to be recycled for further use carbon capture and utilization may help in significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions from major industrial emitters.
  • CCU is different from carbon capture and storage (CCS) because CCU does not aim nor result in permanent geological storage of carbon dioxide. 
    • Instead, CCU aims to convert the captured carbon dioxide into more valuable substances or products; such as plastics, concrete or biofuel; while retaining the carbon neutrality of the production processes.

About Methane

  • Methane is a gas that is found in small quantities in Earth’s atmosphere but it is a powerful greenhouse gas.
  • Methane is 84 times more potent than carbon but it doesn’t last as long in the atmosphere before it breaks down.
  • It is also responsible for creating ground-level ozone, a dangerous air pollutant.