Brick By Brick, They Build Clean Energy Defence

Published: 09th May 2016 04:15 AM  |   Last Updated: 09th May 2016 04:15 AM   |  A+A-

CHENNAI: In what could possibly be path-breaking research to contain global warming, a group of Anna University researchers have developed technology to capture Cardon dioxide emitted from industries and convert it into products like construction bricks.

Carbon dioxide (CO2) is the most prevalent greenhouse gas that traps heat and raises the global temperature, contributing to climate change. Rough estimates suggest over 30 billion tonnes of CO2 being released annually into the atmosphere. With Tamil Nadu becoming increasingly urbanised with installation of many power plants and booming textile industry, researchers hope their new invention can be a turning point towards a low-carbon future.  

Three years of research and hard work and scientific approaches on samples collected from power plants and textile dye industries went into finally converting CO2 into useful products like bricks and bicarbonate.

K Palanivelu, director, Centre for Climate Change and Adaptation Research, Anna University, told  Express that technology can be adopted by major polluting industries like coal-fired power plants, steel and aluminium manufacturing firms to ensure there is zero discharge of CO2 into the atmosphere. The project report has been submitted to the Union government and the university is ready to transfer the technology to the industry. The research project is funded by Department of Science and Technology (DST), New Delhi.

A PhD scholar T D Rushendra Revathy, who worked on the project, told Express that she used three types of waste alkaline materials — fly ash (thermal power plants), steel making slag (steel firms) and red mud (aluminum firms) — which contain 15 per cent CO2 and 85 per cent nitrogen.

“We were able tap the CO2 through mineral carbonation technology and convert it into bricks, which are strong enough”.

Burning facts

In India, 70.72 per cent of the net greenhouse gas emission is contributed by CO2. The energy sector is the major contributor (57.8 pc) of GHG emissions, in which power generation accounts for the largest share (65.4 pc) The global energy demand will grow more than one-third by 2035.

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