DEVELOPMENT OF OXYGEN DIFFUSION CATHODES FOR CHLOR – ALKALI MEMBRANE CELLS:
Electrolysis of aqueous sodium chloride is the only commercially viable option for the production of Caustic soda and chlorine. Chlor – Alkali Industry is energy intensive. India produces 22 lakh tonnes per annum of caustic soda, consuming 2400 kwh electricity per tonne. Replacing the present hydrogen evolving cathodes in membrane cells by oxygen consuming cathodes will result in a theoretical voltage saving of 1.23 V corresponding to an energy saving of 850 kWh per tonne of caustic produced.
ELECTRO REDUCTION OF CARBON DIOXIDE TO USEFUL ORGANICS:
Thermal power plants account for 65 % of electricity generation - 90,000 MW in India. Each kWh of electricity generated is accompanied by the emission of 0.96 kg of CO2. Thermal power plants in India emit around 540 Million tonne of CO2 annually. Overall emission levels will go up with the addition of more and more coal / oil based power generating capacity. 10 – 12 vol % of the stack gas (flue gas) from thermal power plants is CO2. CO2 can be separated from the flue gas by well developed techniques used in Industry. Direct electrochemical approaches to convert CO2 to various types of organic chemicals have been investigated for several decades. Electro reduction of CO2 could contribute to the alleviation of the accumulation of atmospheric CO2.