Carbon dioxide Current Affairs - 2020

Carbon Disclosure Project: India ranks 5th

On January 21, 2020, the Carbon Disclosure Project, an annual report on carbon reduction activities of different countries and their firms was released by a non-profit organization Global Reporting Initiative. According to the report, the countries were ranked based on their corporate responsibilities of carbon reduction. In order to assess the role played by them, their science-based targets were weighed.

Highlights

According to the report, 58 Indian companies disclosed their environment related activities to the organization. Based on their disclosure, the report concludes that 98% of the top Indian companies have now formed committees to address climate related issues. The change has been witnessed between 2018 and 2019.

United States topped the list with 135 companies being transparent in their disclosure. Followed by US, Japan ranked second with 83 companies. On the third, fourth and fifth ranks were UK (78), France (51) and India (38) respectively.

The report said that, over 6,900 companies have so far disclosed their data through Carbon Disclosure Project. This contributes to 55% of world capitalization.

Global Reporting Initiative

The Global Reporting initiative helps businesses, organizations and governments to understand the impacts of climate change, corruption and human rights.

MIT researchers develop new technology to remove CO2 from air

Researchers from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), United States (US) have developed a new technology to capture carbon dioxide (CO2) from a stream of air, virtually at any concentration level. This is a new advance that may pave the way for new strategies to reduce atmospheric greenhouse gas (GHG) levels. The study by researchers was published in the journal Energy and Environmental Science.

About the New Technology

While in most of the prevalent methods, removing carbon dioxide (CO2) from a stream of gas required higher concentrations like those found in flue emissions from fossil fuel-based power plants, but the new method could take out gas even when it was present in very low concentrations.

Method: Researchers described the device as a large, specialized battery with a stack of electrodes that absorbs CO2 from air passing over its surface as it was being charged up, and then released gas as it was being discharged. A chemical reaction then takes place at surface of each of a stack of electrodes as battery charges.

The electrodes are coated with a compound called polyanthraquinone compounded with carbon nanotubes.  The study noted that electrodes have a natural affinity for CO2 and readily reacted with its molecules in airstream/feed gas.  This new technology device operates at room temperature and normal air pressure.

The biggest advantage of this technology over most other carbon absorbing/carbon capture technologies is- ‘binary nature of the adsorbent’s affinity to carbon dioxide’. Moreover, the new system is energy efficient compared to existing methods- consistently using about one gigajoule (GJ) of energy per ton of CO2 captured.