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IT Madras Developed Technology to Convert Greenhouse Gases into Next-Generation Energy Source

Human activities are changing the Earth's natural greenhouse effect. Burning fossil fuels like coal and oil put more carbon dioxide into our atmosphere. Too much of these the greenhouse gases can cause the Earth's atmosphere to trap more heat and result in global warming.

Now scientists at the Indian Institute of Technology Madras have successfully converted greenhouse gases, like carbon dioxide and methane into a next-generation energy source on Earth.

Earth is the only planet in the solar system where life exists, the reason behind this are the presence of atmospheric layers around the earth and the classical phenomenon called the greenhouse effect. The greenhouse effect is a natural process that warms the Earth surface.

Convert Greenhouse Gases into Next-Generation Energy

When the sun's energy reaches the Earth's atmosphere most of it is reflected space and the rest is absorbed and re-radiated by Greenhouse.

The absorbed energy warms the atmosphere and the surface of the Earth. Ever since the formation of human civilizations on Earth, its inhabitants have found options and possibilities to make their life safe and easy.

The discovery of fire is one of the biggest turning points and continues to help in developing new sources of energy. One such source is fossil fuels which are burned to produce energy.

This Burning process causes the emission of certain greenhouse gases such as Carbon dioxide, Methane & Nitrous oxide. If extra amounts of greenhouse gases are added to the atmosphere then they will absorb more infrared radiation.

The emission of infrared radiation increases as the temperature of the emitting body rises. This extra warming is called an enhanced greenhouse effect.

IT Madras Technology

To overcome this enhanced greenhouse effect a team of scientists led by Professor Thalappil Pradeep from the Department of Chemistry at the Indian Institute of Technology Madras have successfully developed a technology that converts greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide and methane into a next-generation energy source on Earth.

Professor Thalappil Pradeep & his team started working on Clathrate hydrate, which Clathrate compounds in which the host molecule is water & the guest molecule is typically a gas or liquid.

They are molecules like methane and carbon dioxide trapped in well-defined cages of water molecules forming crystalline solids.

Clathrate hydrates are formed at high pressure and ultra-low temperatures at places like deep ocean and space. The researchers developed an indigenous machine, which is unique, it is called the ice machine.

The ice machine is attached with a high throughput vacuum pump freezing unit and an infrared detector. Researchers successfully demonstrated the formation of such hydrates in a vacuum chamber by developing an ultra-high vacuum.

Professor Pradeep

The work done by professor Pradeep and his team has got huge potential in the field of chemistry and environmental science.

The researchers trapping of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide and methane into hydrates and its dissociation would open a new way to recycle gases and thus help to reduce global warming.

The work has been supported by University grants commission and Department of Science and Technology Government of India for financial help.