CO2 to CO Conversion Technology

By Amigos IAS

Why is it in the news?

  • Recently, the National Centre of Excellence in Carbon Capture and Utilisation (NCoE-CCU) at IIT Bombay Innovation developed an energy-efficient technology to convert CO2 to CO.
  • It aligns with India’s 2070 net-zero emissions target, potentially revolutionizing the steel sector with cleaner processes.

CO2 to CO Conversion Technology

  • It utilizes an electrocatalytic reaction to convert CO2 to CO at ambient temperatures (25-40 °C), contrasting with traditional high-temperature methods.
  • Can be powered by renewable sources like solar or wind energy, enhancing sustainability and carbon neutrality.
  • The process operates efficiently at lower temperatures and without the need for additional hydrogen, marking a significant improvement over conventional methods.

Impact on the Steel Industry

  • Essential for converting iron ore to metallic iron in blast furnaces, and widely used in the industry, particularly as syn gas.
  • Current CO production methods involving partial oxidation of coke/coal generate substantial CO2 emissions, which this new technology could drastically cut.
  • Offers the steel industry a way to recycle CO2 emissions back into valuable CO, creating a less wasteful and more eco-friendly production cycle.


Electrocatalytic Process

·       Involves the direct transfer of electrons between an electrode and reactants, facilitating chemical reactions without the need for high temperatures.

·       It’s a green process due to its low environmental impact, cost-effectiveness, and efficiency, applicable in various sustainable energy technologies.


About Carbon Monoxide (CO)

·       Colourless, odourless, and tasteless gas, slightly less dense than air.

·       Generated as a byproduct of incomplete combustion of various hydrocarbons like fossil fuels, wood, and vehicle exhausts.

·       Dangerous as it competes with oxygen for binding with haemoglobin in blood, causing oxygen displacement and potential poisoning.

·       Has a short life in the atmosphere due to its role in the formation of ground-level ozone, a key component in smog.

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