How Indian scientists are finding a solution to global warming

Published on : 08:47 PM Apr 12, 2022

In a series of researches on carbon capture and utilization, scientists from the Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT), Hyderabad have not only computationally designed a hybrid material that can capture methane and also act as a catalyst to convert it to high purity hydrogen, but also simulated and designed a process for in place capture of carbon dioxide.

New Delhi: A group of Indian scientists have developed a hybrid material that can absorb gas methane, converting the greenhouse gas into clean Hydrogen. They also simulated a process of capturing carbon dioxide in its place and converting it to high purity hydrogen from non-fuel grade bio-ethanol. Indian scientists also designed a facility that can test such materials and help further carbon capture research.

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Given the global warming potential of greenhouse gases, Indian scientists are trying to explore innovative methods of absorbing greenhouse gases such as methane so that they can be converted into useful substances. New materials that can play a dual role of absorption, as well as conversion, is the new challenge area for scientists in carbon capture innovation.

Methane is a colourless, odourless gas that is found in large quantities in nature and also as a product of certain human activities. Methane is a member of the paraffin series of hydrocarbons and is among the most potent greenhouse gases. Methane’s presence in the atmosphere affects the earth's temperature and climate system. Advertisement

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In a series of researches on carbon capture and utilization, scientists from the Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT), Hyderabad have not only computationally designed a hybrid material that can capture methane and also act as a catalyst to convert it to high purity hydrogen, but also simulated and designed a process for in place capture of carbon dioxide.

The carbon dioxide is then converted into high purity hydrogen from non-fuel grade bioethanol through a mechanism called the optimized intensified chemical looping reforming. The research conducted by Indian scientists has been published in the Elsevier journal Chemical Engineering and Processing. Indian researchers have also fabricated a facility that can further carbon capture and conversion research at the institute.

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Officials said the facility, a dual operational fixed cum fluidized bed reactor system (FBR) can carry out sorption enhanced steam methane reforming (SESMR) for high purity H2 production based on the modelling and preliminary experimental studies. Indian scientists successfully commissioned a fixed cum fluidized bed reactor system at CSIR-IICT, Hyderabad in January this year under a Mission Innovation Project supported by the Department of Science and Technology to IICT Hyderabad.
This is the first facility in the country that can test the performance of dual-functional materials for SESMR in a fluidized bed reactor system. “Sorption enhanced steam methane reforming (SESMR) offers specific advantages of in-situ CO2 removal through sorbents and thereby overcomes the equilibrium limitations of steam reforming and leads to high purity H2 production,” said officials.

According to officials from the department of science, these potential dual-functional materials identified from theoretical predictions are now being synthesized and simultaneously FBR operating conditions are being optimized for existing sorbent and catalyst materials for meeting increasing challenges of carbon capture and utilization and associated research.

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