Indian Firm Converts CO2 to Baking Soda

March 7, 2017

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. industrial / ɪnˈdʌs tri əl / (adj.) – relating to manufacturing (e.g. factories, workers, products, etc.)
Example: Factory owners can be sued for improper disposal of industrial waste.

2. upcycle / ˈʌpˌsaɪ kəl / (v.) – to create new things out of waste materials that are different from the original object
Example: Their company upcycles old plastic bottles into chairs.

3. marketable / ˈmɑr kɪ tə bəl / (adj.) – having a good chance to be sold
Example: The high demand for the new product shows that it is marketable.

4. neutralize / ˈnu trəˌlaɪz, / (v.) – to make something unable to cause harm
Example: The medicine made him feel better because it neutralized his stomach acid.

5. specialize / ˈspɛʃ əˌlaɪz / (v.) – to focus on a certain subject or aspect
Example: The clinic specializes in eye diseases.


Read the text below.
An industrial plant in India has become the first plant to turn carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions into a useful product.

The Tuticorin Alkali Chemicals plant has recently been equipped with technology that captures CO2 emissions from its own coal-powered boiler. The technology was developed by Carbon Clean Solutions, a Britain-based firm founded by two Indian chemists. The plant then upcycles the collected CO2 into baking soda. While capturing CO2 is not new, this is the first time that a company has turned CO2 emissions into a marketable product.

Since 1750, CO2 has been the main contributor to climate change and global warming. Using the technology, the plant can prevent as much as 60,000 tons of CO2 emissions from being released into the atmosphere.

According to Carbon Clean Solutions, their technology will not fully solve climate change, but it may help neutralize 5-10% of the world’s CO2 emissions. The firm hopes that power plants and manufacturing companies around the world will adopt the same procedure to reduce their emissions.

Meanwhile, a company in Canada is taking a similar initiative. CarbonCure Technologies Inc., a company that also specializes in capturing CO2 emissions, invented a technology that can integrate captured emissions into concrete. Combining CO2 with concrete can enhance the strength of concrete by 10%. The process can also ensure that the emissions will not escape into the atmosphere.

The company’s CEO claims that the technology can eliminate millions of tons of CO2 if it is widely used in industrial operations. So far, the company has installed the technology in over 40 concrete plants in North America.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Would you use the products mentioned above (baking soda and concrete) even if they are made with waste materials? Why or why not?
·         How can companies that sell upcycled or recycled materials encourage customers to buy their products?

Discussion B

·         Considering how expensive they can be, do you think that clean energy projects are worth it? Why or why not?
·         Do you think the government should invest in clean energy projects? Why or why not?

March 7, 2017