Beat Air Pollution Current Affairs - 2020

SC issues order on completion of “Smog Tower Project” within 3 months

On December 16, 2019, the Supreme Court of India ordered the Centre and the Delhi Governments to hasten the pilot project of setting up smog towers at Connaught place.

Smog Towers

Smog Towers are air purification structures that are designed to work as air purifiers. They are fitted with multiple air purifiers. These purifiers cleanses air as it passes through them. It is a successful project and China has fitted two smog towers in the city of Beijing and Xi’an. The tower is being developed in Delhi by Kurin systems called the “Kurin Cleaners”

About the towers

The purifiers will be 20-feet wide and 40-feet tall. They will have the capacity to clean 32 million cubic metres of air in a day. A single tower will cover 3-km radius and is said have impacts on 75,000 lives of Delhiites.

The Kurin cleaner will remove PM 10 and PM 2.5 upto 99.99%. It will run on solar energy. As many as 48 fans will be fitted to these towers to maintain air flow. The towers will also be attached with solar heating and cooling techniques.

GoI to allot six Coal Mines to reduce coal imports

On December 13, 2019, Ministry of Coal initiated the auction process of 27 coal mines. Out of the 27 coal mines, applications were received for 6 mines. It includes mines at Bikram, Brahmapuri, Bhaskarpara, Jagannathpur and Jamkhani.

Highlights

The mines will add 5 metric tonnes of coal per annum. Also, it will generate Rs 15,000 crores of revenue for the state governments. The purpose of these auctions is to reduce the dependence of the coal industry on imported coal. India is currently importing 233.56 million tonnes of coal (2018-19). Coal imports increased by 8.8% as compared to 2017-18.

Government Measures

Government of India is currently planning to decrease dependence of coal and its imports. In order to achieve this, Coal India aims to raise its annual output to 880 million tons by 2024. This will help in reducing imports and eventually stop the country’s energy dependence on coal. This will also aid in India’s plan to expand the economy to 5 trillion USD by 2024.

The Government of India is also using Clean Coal Technology to reduce air pollution caused due to usage of coal.

Clean Coal Technology

Some of the Clean Coal Technology methods that are currently used in the country includes pre-combustion capture, oxy-fuel combustion and post-combustion capture. Pre-combustion capture includes production of heat through gasification of feedstock. In this process, a mix of hydrogen and Carbon dioxide rich gas is produced and the mixture can be separated easily. In Oxy-fuel combustion, fossil fuel such as coal is burnt in recirculated flue gas and oxygen rather than air. This eliminates nitrogen largely.