Globally, carbon dioxide in the number one contributor to harmful greenhouse gas emissions. These emissions have been linked to the acceleration of climate change, leading to such devastating effects as rising sea levels that displace communities and radical local climates that hurt agriculture.
But what is you could turn that CO2 into baking powder?
That’s what one company in India is setting out to do. A chemical plant in the city of Tuticorin is teaming up with India’s Carbon Clean Solutions to save 60,000 tons of last year’s CO2 emissions.
“I am a businessman. I never thought about saving the planet,” says Ramachadran Gopalan, owner of the plant that is capturing CO2 from coal-powered boilers, to BBC Radio 4. “I needed a reliable stream of CO2, and this was the best way of getting it.”
While Gopalan may not have thought about saving planet, the team at Carbon Clean Solutions has.
“Major carbon dioxide emitters like power plants and manufacturing facilities, in future may be asked to install carbon capture technologies or pay carbon tax,” the company states on their website. “Carbon Clean Solutions is innovating and working with customers to develop technologies that will cost effectively reduce the CO2 emissions from such large point sources.”
Here’s how it works: the CO2 smoke emissions produced by the coal-burning boilers are stripped out by a chemical mist, the isolated CO2 is then fed into the chemical plant as an ingredient for baking soda and other compounds. Through this process, more than 90 percent of the carbon produced is captured.
A similar breakthrough happened last year in Iceland, where researchers developed a technique to turn CO2 into stone. However, the transformation from CO2 to baking powder could be more beneficial due to market attractiveness.