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IIT Bombay Develops CO2 to CO Conversion Technology for Steel Sector


The National Centre of Excellence in Carbon Capture and Utilisation (NCoE-CCU) at IIT Bombay has introduced an energy-efficient technology capable of converting carbon dioxide (CO2) into carbon monoxide (CO). This innovation finds application in the steel sector and aligns with India’s aspirations for achieving net-zero emissions by 2070.


GS III:  Scientific Innovations & Discoveries

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Operating the CO2 to CO Conversion Technology
  2. Relevance to the Steel Industry

Operating the CO2 to CO Conversion Technology

  • The CO2 to CO conversion technology operates using an electrocatalytic process.
  • Unlike conventional techniques that necessitate high temperatures ranging from 400-750 °C and an equivalent amount of hydrogen, this process functions at ambient temperatures between 25-40 °C and in the presence of water, removing the requirement for elevated temperature conditions.
  • The energy needed for this electrocatalysis reaction can be directly derived from renewable sources like solar panels or windmills, ensuring a carbon-neutral operation.
  • This process is notably energy-efficient, environmentally friendly, and sustainable.
Electrocatalytic Process
  • The electrocatalytic process is a catalytic mechanism characterized by the direct transfer of electrons occurring between an electrode and reactants.

Key Attributes:

  • Environmentally Friendly: This process is known for its eco-friendliness, as it often leads to cleaner and more sustainable chemical reactions.
  • Efficiency: Electrocatalysis is highly efficient, enabling reactions to proceed with greater speed and efficacy.
  • Cost-Effectiveness: It is often considered an economical and cost-effective method for various applications.


  • Electrocatalysis finds applications in a wide range of sustainable energy technologies, such as fuel cells, water splitting for hydrogen production, and various electrochemical processes used in environmental and industrial settings.
Relevance to the Steel Industry:
  • Carbon monoxide (CO) holds substantial significance in the steel industry, particularly in the conversion of iron ores into metallic iron within blast furnaces.
  • CO is widely used in the industry, often in the form of synthesis gas (syn gas).
  • Conventionally, CO is produced by partially oxidizing coke or coal, resulting in notable CO2 emissions.
  • The new CO2 to CO conversion technology offers the potential to establish a circular economy, thereby reducing the carbon footprint and related expenses in steel production.

-Source: The Hindu

June 2024