Converting CO2 to Methane

  • IASbaba
  • October 30, 2021
  • 0
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Converting CO2 to Methane

Part of: Prelims and GS III – Environment

Context Recently, Indian Scientists have designed a photochemical method (Photocatalyst) to convert Carbon Dioxide (CO2) to Methane (CH4).

  • A photochemical method is a chemical reaction initiated by the absorption of energy in the form of light.

Key Points

  • A polymer has been designed to absorb visible light and catalyse the reaction which reduces CO2. 
  • Most catalysts contain toxic and expensive metal counterparts. Therefore, scientists designed a metal-free porous organic polymer to overcome this drawback.
  • The method uses solar light as a renewable source of energy.
  • Significance:
    • Methane can be one of the value-added products with significant uses as the cleanest burning fossil fuel and can directly be used in fuel cells as a hydrogen carrier.
    • It is also the main component of natural gas and has the potential to replace coal for electricity generation and furnishing flexible supply to reinforce intermittent renewable generators.

What is Methane?

  • Methane is gas that is found in small quantities in Earth’s atmosphere.
  • It is the simplest hydrocarbon, consisting of one carbon atom and four hydrogen atoms (CH4).
  • Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas. It is flammable, and is used as a fuel worldwide.
  • Methane is produced by the breakdown or decay of organic material and can be introduced into the atmosphere by either natural processes (decay of plant material in wetlands, the seepage of gas from underground deposits or the digestion of food by cattle) or human activities (oil and gas production, rice farming or waste management).
  • Methane is called marsh gas because it is found at the surface of marshy places

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