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.