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Goa Scientist’s Innovative Plans To Save The Earth Have Won Him 10,000 Euros

Growing up in the southern coastal state of Goa, Sachin Kochrekar invested his childhood amid lush dark-green hills, pristine beaches, and breathing in the fresh air blowing from the sea. However, over the years, he watched as his metropoli began to choke due to increasing air pollution.

In 2020, global CO2 releases reached 31. 5 giga tonnes, with fossil fuels lending 34. 1 billion tonnes of CO2 releases. Noticing this trend, Sachin was determined to do his bit to protect the environment.

More than five years since he moved from Goa, he has successfully come up with a programme to proselytize these destructive CO2 radiations into gasoline and facilitate bring down the carbon footprint. Interestingly, his innovation imitations nature's process of creating energy -- photosynthesis.

In a discussion with The Better India, the 31 -year-old scientist explains how he developed the method used, and how exactly it works.

Recycling a harmful gas into a advisable fuel

After completing his post-graduation in Analytical Chemistry from the University of Mumbai in 2012, Sachin went on to join the Department of Applied Chemistry at Defence Institute of Advanced Technology, Pune.

In 2017, he came across a Cloth Chemistry Research Group at the University of Turku, Finland, where he joined the PhD programme at colleges and universities. carbon dioxide to fuel Sachin along with his colleagues in Finland

“I have always been motivated to give back to the environment and help create a sustainable future. When I heard about this university, where there was an ongoing project about electrochemical alteration of carbon dioxide emissions, I knew it was the perfect opportunity for me to contribute something to the environment in my own style, ” Sachin says.

Since moving to Finland over four years earlier, Sachin has been studying the method of electrochemical reduction of carbon dioxide. It is a method by which CO2 emitted by burning fossil fuels is broken down into smaller areas that can then be used as a clean-living informant of energy.

“There is an urgent need to find an alternative source of energy and reduce our carbon footprint. While renewable energy like solar and wind are good alternatives, they are not available instantly and at all ages. However, carbon dioxide is one of the most widely developed greenhouse gases, as fossil fuels are a major source of energy right now. Using carbon dioxide to produce energy is one of the many courses in which we can reduce its emission in the atmosphere, ” he notes.

“After capturing the carbon dioxide, employing an electrochemical reaction, the CO2 molecules would be broken down to create fuel, which can be used to power vehicles or any other machinery. This process helps close the carbon cycle and can turn 50% of the pernicious radiations into fuel, ” Sachin explains.

Using existing systems

While there are existing methods of producing renewable energy, these compel setting up new infrastructure, which is costly.

This is where Sachin’s innovation comes in- it captivates the already-existing carbon dioxide and converts it into gasoline. carbon dioxide fuel Process of electrochemical changeover of CO2 to fuel

“I appreciate brand-new alternatives like electric vehicles. However, it is extremely difficult for a country like India to provide electricity to charge cars when we cannot even ensure energy for everyone’s homes, especially in rural areas. This campaign work towards ensuring that we do not have to invest in a new arrangement as the infrastructure has existed, because industries and automobiles use fossil fuel, ” says Sachin.

Many sources of CO2 radiations, such as existing power plants that run on natural gas and coal, will continue to function this route for the coming years. Sachin says that considering the continuing dependence on fossil fuels, the method used inhibits immense promise as it closes the carbon cycle and uses existing network. Through this project, existing radiations are diverted and recycled before they reach the atmosphere.

The way forward

After over four years of conducting research, Sachin's struggles eventually paid off. In May 2021, he won the Millennium Pitching Contest, a competition for doctoral nominees with the task of solving the most pressing challenges of our time.

As part of the prize, he was awarded EUR1 0,000. Sachin at the Millennium Pitching Contest

“Winning was both inspiring and astounding, since the level of the contest was so high. It still feels a bit unreal and it's hard to threw my own experience into words. Scientists are always use behind the scenes and rarely get noticed, but lend so much to culture and growth. It was great to showcase my work and see it recognised, ” says Sachin.

He plans to come back to India and spread the learning that he has learnt. He hopes to continue his research and believes that it is only a matter of time before his innovation can be used as a source of energy.

Sachin says he is constantly looking for actions in which we can save the environment and create a cleaner and greener planet. Apart from his research work, he has been advising and working on a response projection with the Government of Finland on reducing carbon footprint and helping them achieve carbon neutrality.

Edited by Divya Sethu

Read more: thebetterindia.com

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