Tata Steel, Coal India in talks with JNCASR for CO2 reduction tech

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Jawaharlal Nehru

Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (


), whose novel Carbon-di-oxide (CO2) reduction technology has the capacity of converting 300kg of CO2 per day into methanol & other useful chemicals, has tied up with an incubation firm — Breathe Applied Sciences — to scale it up to industrial scale (500 tonne).
Having realised the massive potential, big firms like Tata Steel and Coal India are in talks with the JNCASR team and Breathe Applied Sciences to help set up plants that can convert CO2 into useful chemicals and fuels.
On June 5, the JNCASR team at from the new chemistry unit led by Prof Sebastian C Peter inked an agreement to transfer the technology to Breathe, which is a start-up incubated at JNCASR with


from the Department of Science and Technology (DST), under the Nano Mission Project.
The scientific activities which have been agreed upon as part of the agreement are the


of efficient catalysts for the conversion of CO2 to methanol and other chemicals, improvisation of the process engineering to enhance production of chemicals and fuels from anthropogenic CO2.
The Breathe team — Peter, Prof

Umesh Waghmare

and Rakshith Raghavan — over the last few years has undertaken several translational activities, participated in global competitions, and has several accomplishments to its credit.
Peter, who is also a founder-director at Breathe told TOI: “Coal India has been in talks with us for the past one year and we had nearly reached the commitment state just before the lockdown. There is a lot of unused coal in their reserves which they want to utilise that. For this, we will first build a pilot model plant in Bengaluru with a capacity of converting 100 tonne of CO2, which may get initial funding from Coal India.”
The eventual plan, he said, was to develop the required catalysts, design and develop the plant for Coal India on an industrial scale at a location of its choice.
“Tata Steel too has shown interest and they are looking at a 2 tonne capacity plant. In this case they are looking to be as green as possible and they see this as one of the ways of being more environmentally friendly. We will know about what happens with both these cases in the next two weeks or so,” Peter said.
He added that a milestone has been achieved from the initial research activities on the CO2 reduction to translating it into something that could be scaled to an industrial usage.
In the pilot mode, the current capacity of CO 2 conversion is 300kg per day, which can be scaled up to 500 tonne in an industrial scale. It will take almost a year to reach the level of industrial production.
“Conversion of CO2 to clean fuels such as methanol and other useful chemicals on scale with cost-effectiveness is the holy grail of science to address sustainable development, environmental and climate. The developments at JNCASR is an extraordinary example of converting cutting-edge science into technological opportunities,” said Prof

Ashutosh Sharma

, Secretary, DST.

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