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Nalco embarks upon green project

According to reports, Navaratna company Nalco is all set to run its first-ever carbon sequestration project that would capture carbon dioxide using algae through Indo-Can technology, the first such venture in India to minimize warming. The algae would play a major role in reducing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and cleaning polluted air.

Construction of the Rs 95-lakh project on the captive power plant (CPP) premises of Nalco here is in full swing and production of algae will begin in a week, Nalco sources said.

The Nalco had evinced interest to start the project after persuasion from Odisha State Pollution Control Board (OSPCB). Indo-Can Technology Solutions (ICTS) is executing the project, the fifth in the world.

Ranjan Pradhan, expert at ICTS, told TOI, “As per the project, algae will be grown in shallow ponds and carbon dioxide from the captive power plant tapped and introduced in the pond. Being soluble in the water, carbon dioxide will get absorbed in it.”

Carbon dioxide and water are the basic requirement for algae growth and these in turn will release oxygen as a by-product, he added and claimed that by this process the rate of sequestration could be as high as 100 times of a tree system.

He said in the project, carbon dioxide emitted from the stacks is segregated and injected into shallow water ponds to expedite growth of cultured micro-algae. In the process, biomass of micro-algae doubles itself in 24 hours under optimum conditions and is harvested every 15 days.

Siddhanta Kumar Dash, member secretary of OSPCB, while on a visit to Nalco CPP recently, said, “A few countries in the world – the US, China, Canada and Israel – have used the technology for capturing carbon. However, it has not been used for commercial purposes so far though laboratory tests have shown positive results.”

“We have taken this as a pilot project. If the project delivers the goods, we would start the project on commercial basis,” he had added.

Reducing emission of green house gases (GHG), the main cause of global warming, is a critical environment issue confronting the world community today. The project would lead to replicating the process in a commercial scale in the industries and help the country fulfil its commitment for reducing the rate of emissions by 20% by 2020, Dash had said.

B B Nayak, general Manager of CPP, Nalco, said, “If the project yields good results we would think of another project in future.”

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