Carbonclean, an Indian firm, has proved that carbon capture can be turned into an economically viable venture, thanks to its innovation.
At its own coal-powered boiler, located at the industrial port of Tucicorin in Southern India, the company is capturing carbon and converting it to make baking soda. The process is billed as the first ever industrial scale example of what is called Carbon Capture and Utilisation (CCU).
Soda is a base chemical with a wide range of uses including glass manufacture, sweeteners, detergents and paper products.
The traditional method to mitigate carbon emissions has been limited to Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS). The challenge with capture has been the staggering cost of forcing emissions into the underground rocks. Now, the potential savings through the ground-breaking CCU could be diverted to some other initiatives.
In an interview with BBC Radio 4, Carbonclean’s managing director, Ramachandran Gopalan, claimed that, as a result of the CCU method, his coal-fired plant had “virtually zero emissions to air or water”.
Compared to conventional carbon capture, Carbonclean says its innovation is more energy efficient, it is less corrosive and has significantly lower building costs.
Once fully operational, Carbonclean says its venture could produce a massive 60, 000 tonnes of CO2 annually. This was not possible using current technologies, which have proved to have limitations and not commercially viable.
Sourced from an article published in The Guardian, and edited for African Mining Brief Online