What Is It With The Green Alternatives?

Green hydrogen

If you have read yesterday’s post with us, you know an International Climate Summit is coming up in India. ICS 2021 will be an initiative that can alter a lot about our understanding of the environment. The main focus is going to be on the Greens.

It would be all about the Greens- not only the environmental green but also the green alternatives. Green steel, green refinery & green hydrogen.

What are exactly these green alternatives? Let us understand a bit more about them.

Green alternatives

Here’s a little about the different greens.

1)    Green Hydrogen

The element hydrogen is everywhere in the world- from the water, we drink to the air we breathe. You cannot eliminate hydrogen from our environment ever. Instead, it is important, and extremely essential for our survival. It is as much important as is nitrogen and oxygen.

But the new buzzword is the green hydrogen as the green alternative.

There are two questions to solve- what is green hydrogen and how in it different from normal hydrogen?

Green hydrogen is artificially produced, of course, by splitting water into elements hydrogen and oxygen. The split is powered by an electrolyzer (a machine used for splitting any molecule into its respective atoms). The electricity used to run the electrolyzer is derived from a natural, renewable source of energy. Primarily wind, water, or solar power is used to produce the electricity being used for these electrolyzing machines.

India is a chief player on this front. On 15th August, the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi announced the National Hydrogen Mission in his Independence Day speech.

Ideally, it is being projected that our country would promote greener power sources by reducing the tariff rates for the electricity generated from the sun or the wind as opposed to the energy generated by coal or conventional fuel sources.

Now, this could be a big step towards change. A discom can always purchase green energy and sell it at cheaper tariff rates compared to conventional energy sources. There is a lot that has been drafted about green power implementation.

The advantages of green hydrogen are many

  • Green hydrogen can stabilize heat and electricity supply.
  • It is one of the most versatile energy sources.
  • Green hydrogen can remarkably reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

 Do you know about Blue Hydrogen? Well, undoubtedly there is one. Know about it more in later posts.

2)    Green Refinery

Eni S.p.A. is an Italian oil & gas company (O&G) unit headquartered in Rome.

Eni S.p.A cleverly manipulated the hydrodesulfurization segment of the Venice refinery under it into a biorefinery.  The EcofiningTM technology previously developed by Eni in Saint Donato Milanese laboratory in partnership with Honeywell-UOP was implemented in the refinery.

Well, the story went on to weave high quality biofuels. Green diesel, green naphtha, LPG, and to an extent even the unimaginable green jet fuel came into existence.

How are they produced to fall in the category of green fuels? Well, they are derived from raw material or substrate. These green fuels have to meet the EU (European Union) Directives which mandated 10% of energy from renewable sources by 2020.

So the green refinery gave way to different biofuels. Eni put forth a strategy to obtain these biofuels in no time- conversion of biological feedstock, basically non-conventional sources like vegetable oil and biomass into green products.

3)    Green Ammonia is claimed to be the future fuel

We all know the environmental impacts of producing ammonia are huge and almost irreplaceable.

Therefore, the concept of green ammonia developed. Green ammonia defined as a zero emission fuel holds promise.

Using renewable resources of energy to generate ammonia called green ammonia can be used to produce a carbon-free fertilizer.

Green ammonia is chemically called NH3. You can see it’s one atom of nitrogen and three atoms of hydrogen which make one molecule of ammonia. So in the case of green ammonia, hydrogen would be obtained from the electrolysis of water using an electrolyzer as mentioned in the Green hydrogen section.

Nitrogen would be extracted in return from the air.

Now, these elements would come together to produce green ammonia through the Haber-Bosch process (the conventional process was designed by Haber and since then the process of manufacturing ammonia is known as Haber’s process).

Currently, the ingredients used in manufacturing the rotten egg smelling gas are not so green.

4)    Green Steel

Wow! Can steel be green? Green steel?

Yes, not the green color steel, instead environmentally friendly steel is what you can call it more accurately.

Iron ore needs to be stripped off from the oxygen to produce pure iron. Coal or natural gas is primarily used to strip steal off oxygen. But with green steel, hydrogen made from renewable energy sources would be used to strip oxygen from the ore instead of coal or natural gas..

The result would be zero carbon-dioxide emission.

Voila! This is where we are trying to reach.

Every attempt to reduce carbon dioxide emissions can save our planet from facing an early death. The human population definitely has a boon in disguise as a green, healthy Earth can support more and more generations of human life in the future.

5)    Green Chemicals

Green chemicals are a broad term.

It includes many varieties of chemicals, starting from green biocatalysts, medicines, paints, biodegradable substances, to computer chips- everything will go with the tag of Go Green.

Metatheses (simply known as double decomposition in Chemistry), an initiative that earned a Nobel Prize in 2005 is a green catalytic chemical process.

Chicken feathers for a computer chip can be strong and light, durable and slender. Computer chips will also get a makeover due to the heavy amount of fuel needed to produce a single chip. An estimated 630 times the weight of the chip is wasted to create just one chip.

Medicines have broader coverage and a lot of work in terms of green medicine has already been started all across the globe.

Biodegradable plastics! Well, some of us are using the first of its kind already!

Oil based paints use a synthetic resin will get replaced with soya oil and sugar in near future.

Basically, the world is fighting a lot of challenges at one time. There cannot be an easier solution to the damage man has brought to nature knowingly. But with time, there is hope a significant population would understand that their children too need what they needed to survive.

Fresh air, clean waters (using water from free sources without fear instead of purchasing sparklingly clean waters), green mountains (the friendliest color of all to our eyes), and a smoke free, stable, competent earth is all they would need to start.

Question is, are these present generations really interested in giving their children this beautiful gift? Or are we too happy being busy fighting our odds in the world?

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