Delhi’s air pollution answer may lie in distant Iceland

A system has been developed that captures CO2 and turns it into stone

rahul

Rahul Dass | December 14, 2017 | New Delhi


#Smog   #Air Pollution   #Delhi Pollution   #Delhi  
(Photo: Arun Kumar)
(Photo: Arun Kumar)

Had the situation not been so desperate, then the AAP government’s proposal to sprinkle water from helicopters would have been considered hare-brained. But, a more practical solution to tackling air pollution may well be around the corner and it lies in the success of a pilot project in Iceland.

At a geothermal power plant in Iceland, Climeworks, a startup, inaugurated on Oct 11 the first system that does direct air capture and verifiably achieves negative carbon emissions.

Although it’s still at pilot scale—capturing only 50 metric tons CO2 from the air each year, about the same emitted by a single US household or 10 Indian households—it’s the first system to convert the emissions into stone, thus ensuring they don’t escape back into the atmosphere for the next millions of years, said an article in the World Economic Forum
So, how does reversible absorption work?

The idea is to run a mixture of gases (air being the prime example) over a material that selectively absorbs CO2. Then, in a separate process, that material is manipulated to pull the CO2 out of it. The separated CO2 can then be compressed and injected underground. Typically there’s a limited supply of the absorbing material, so it will get put through the cycle once again to capture more of the greenhouse gas.

Last year, when the air had become toxic in Delhi, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government formulated a plan to put in place three-tier air treatment system. It included setting up of wind purification units, mist fountains and virtual chimneys at five major traffic intersections.

During Diwali, when pollution worsened further, Times of India reported the government announced a plan to install outdoor air purifiers at five major traffic intersections -- Anand Vihar, ITO, Sarai Kalen Khan, Kashmere Gate and IIT (Delhi) or AIIMS.

This year, AAP government sought permission from the Centre to sprinkle water from choppers and it was ready to bear the expenses.

In some select areas, fire brigade sprinklers were put to use to help improve the air quality. Fire tenders from 50 of Delhi’s 53 fire stations sprinkled water to settle the dust.

All these clearly are knee-jerk reactions which cannot be sustained on the long run. Once a system that is being developed by Climeworks can be scaled up, then it can be put to use in Delhi.

Perhaps what is needed is to encourage innovation and ask technologists to develop similar reversible absorption systems. An out-of-the-box solution may well come from the students of IITs and other engineering colleges.

Indigenous technology would not only be a lot cheaper, it will be much easier to maintain, specially since it would be built by material that has been locally sourced. By using those systems, the ambient air quality of the national capital can be considerably improved.

Comments

 

Other News

Maharshtra braces to face Cyclone Nisarga

 Even as Mumbai fights challenges posed by COVID-19 on multiple fronts and as the  coronavirus cases continue to rise daily, the city now faces a double whammy with the cyclone ‘Nisarga’ slated to make the landfall in Maharashtra Wednesday. A state-wide alert has been issued for Mumba

Harnessing the demographic capital: how effective are skilling programmes?

Probing data concerning increased job creation and the decline in unemployment has been holding the attention of economists and been subject of discussions in several think tanks in the preceding months. The NITI Aayog reports that 3.53 million new jobs were created between September 2017 and February 2018

It`s time to Unlock now, with economic focus

With Lockdown 4 ending Sunday, the home ministry has issued new guidelines to fight COVID-19 and for phased re-opening of areas outside the Containment Zones. The guidelines, issued based on extensive consultations held with states and UTs, will be effective from June 1 till June 30. The first phase of reo

Small kitchen gardens turn saviours for Gujarat tribal families

When the whole world is fighting COVID-19, food and nutrition security has become a major issue. The pandemic has aggravated the existing food crisis in India, especially in rural and tribal regions. There has been less availability of fresh foods in most parts of the country, and the tribal community has

India will set example of post-Covid-19 economic revival: Modi

India is determined to “set an example” for the rest of the word in the post-pandemic economic revival, prime minister Narendra Modi has said, underling the need to become self-reliant. “There is also a widespread debate on how the economies of various countries, including

3,543 ‘Shramik Special’ trains transport 48 lakh people in 26 days

Close to 48 lakh migrant labourers have been able to reach home from the cities they were working in, as the Indian Railways have run a total of 3,543 “Sharmik Special” trains from May 1. Following the home ministry order regarding the movement by special trains of migrant worker



Archives

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter