Carbon di oxide Current Affairs - 2019
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Biofuels are being considered an alternative to reduce the country’s crude oil imports worth Rs7 lakh crore. They can also be a potential weapon to fight increasing pollution. The findings of the research by the Pune-based Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) have substantiated the potential reduction in the emissions of the carbon-di-oxide by the adoption of methanol blending.
Research by the Pune-based Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI)
Pune-based Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) conducted a study using 15% M-15 methanol blend in vehicles and tested them for 3,000km to evaluate emissions in real-world conditions as well as check the performance of the vehicles.
The outcomes of the study showed that methanol blending with petrol in the existing BS-IV standard cars resulted in the reduction of the carbon-di-oxide emissions substantially.
The study also found that hydrocarbon emission reduced marginally, with a slight increase in the levels of nitrogen oxides.
The findings of the research were submitted to Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari. The Minister assured full support for ARAI in furthering the methanol blending programme, reiterating the government’s commitment to increase the methanol blending to 20% by the year 2030.
The researchers from the Indian Institute of Technology-Madras (IIT-M) have recreated space fuel by simulating interstellar conditions in the laboratory. It is a big breakthrough for India in the exploration of cleaner and sustainable alternatives to fossil fuel.
The discovery has the potential to convert atmospheric carbon dioxide into a next-generation energy source to curb greenhouse gases and global warming.
The research of the IIT-M in this regard has been published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).
Study of Space Fuels
The team from IIT-M was able to create methane-containing clathrate hydrates in ultra-high vacuum (1000 billion times below the atmospheric pressure) and at a temperature close to -263oC. i.e. the conditions at deep space.
This discovery of hydrates at extremely low pressures and ultra-cold temperatures is highly unexpected. The team predicts that molecules like methane and ammonia in space could exist in a completely different form than what is known to us.
Tackling Climate Change
Clathrate hydrates are crystalline solids containing gases like methane and carbon dioxide trapped in well-defined cages of water molecules. These hydrates, especially of methane, are considered to be the fuel of the future.
The researchers then repeated the experiments with carbon-di-oxide and similar hydrates were produced. This can be a breakthrough in dealing with global warming. Now carbon dioxide can be trapped from the atmosphere and carbon dioxide gas can be sequestered as solid hydrates under the sea bed.