An industrial plant in India is turning carbon dioxide generated from its coal-powered boiler into baking powder.
Tuticorin Alkali Chemicals, a fertiliser manufacturing company in Tamil Nadu, India, is using CO2 from its own boiler to make soda ash.
The process, believed to be a world first, involves capturing CO2 and other pollutants from coal and feeding it into a mixing chamber with salt and ammonia, creating baking soda in the process.
The technology comes from Carbon Clean Solutions – an Indian start-up looking to lead the way in CO2 separation technology.
Thermal plants are one of the biggest sources of global CO2 emissions.
Researchers and environmentalists believe that capturing and sequestering these industrial emissions is key to keeping global warming in check, at least until scientists are able to find a way to stop using fossil fuels.
Which is why there is a rush to develop technology that can cheaply capture and separate CO2.
Ramachadran Gopalan, owner of Tuticorin, told the BBC: “I am a businessman. I never thought about saving the planet. I needed a reliable stream of CO2, and this was the best way of getting it.”
Tuticorin is expecting to convert some 60,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions into baking soda and other chemicals every year.
This comes after a team of British scientists last year found a way to rid the atmosphere of excess greenhouse gas by turning it into chalk.