Every year on September 16, the International day for the preservation of Ozone layer is celebrated worldwide. On the eve of Ozone Day, the Ministry of Environment has launched a major research and development initiative to reduce the impact of refrigerants on the ozone layer.
The official said in the statement, that "The Ministry today announced a sustainable refrigerant technologies as alternatives to HFCs. This R&D initiative brings together government, research institutes, industry and collaborative R&D programme… To develop long term technology solutions to mitigate impact of currently-used refrigerant gases on the ozone layer and climate. With this initiative, India reaffirms its commitment to working with all other countries to safeguard the Earth’s natural ecosystem.”
The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Department of Science and Technology (DST) and Centre for Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences are some of the key players of the initiative.
India has a small carbon footprint at citizen level and its sustainable lifestyle results in low contribution of the country to overall emissions of greenhouse gases and ozone depleting substances, as compared with other developed nations.
However, there is an urgent need for developing new technologies indigenously as alternatives available today are patented apart from being expensive. “A research-based programme to look for cost effective alternatives to the currently used refrigerant gases is essential. The initiative is a significant step forward in line with India’s national focus on research, innovation and technology development and Mission Innovation,” it said.
The Ministry’s research initiative will be led by the CSIR’s Indian Institute of Chemical Technology, Hyderabad.
The Ministry along with DST and CSIR has decided to create a corpus fund for this research programme, with industry also committing to contribute to the effort.
“The collaboration of research institutes as well as industry will create larger ecosystem for developing sustainable solutions, and eventually deploying low global warming potential – GWP HFCs on a national scale.”
By establishing an effective collaboration between all important stakeholders, the initiative is focused on prioritising areas of research in new refrigerant technologies and natural refrigerants.
“This will help the country leapfrog from the current technology high GWP HydroFluoroCarbons or HFCs to technologies with lower climate impact,” the statement added.
(With agency input)