COP27

What is COP27?

COP is the short form for Conference of the Parties, with” parties” about the 197 countries that consented to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in 1992.

This convention addresses” dangerous mortal hindrance with the climate system” and stabilizes situations of GHG emissions into the atmosphere. The U.N. climate body convenes those governments once a time to bandy addressing climate change. This is the 27th time different have gathered under the convention — hence, COP27.

The conference was from Nov. 6 through Nov. 18, 2022. But climate negotiations are famously contentious, so expect it to go into overtime.

 when was COP27

The meeting was held at Sharm el Sheikh. It is an Egyptian resort town on the Red Sea coast.

Two main sites for the COP27 event: are the Blue Zone and the Green Zone. 

The Blue Zone was at the Sharm el Sheikh International Convention Center, South of the town centre, mainly for the official negotiations. United Nations superintended the space, which is a concern to international law.

Across the road in the Peace Park Botanical Garden will be the Green Zone, and the Egyptian government will run that area and open it to the public.

The goal of COP27

The final goal of the conference was in dispute. Developed nations need to focus on ways to support developing nations in phasing out fossil fuels and transitioning to renewable energy.

Developing countries want a commitment to the money they need to address the disasters due to climate change they are already experiencing.

However, emerging countries need to find economic assistance for factors like relocating endangered areas or just making up for the economic growth lost to worsening floods, storms and heat waves. Industrialized nations, including the United States, have partly opposed a new fund. Because they fear being held legally liable for the rising damages happened by climate change.

It was the first climate summit in Africa since 2016. Many activists said they hope it will be an ‘African COP’ in both focus and location, as the African nations face some of the worst impacts of climate change.

Above 35,000 representatives are awaited to join the event, including U.S. President Biden and more than 100 heads of nation, according to the U.N. climate body. Over 40,000 people attended the 26th summit in Glasgow with 120 world leaders. But it’s still a substantial gathering for a year in which no significant decisions are officially expected.

Disapproval at COP26

 Climate activists have demonstrated their concern for the crisis through marches, hunger strikes, sit-ins, and other acts of civil disobedience at COP26.

Protests are planned in Sharm el Sheikh while world leaders highlight Egypt’s poor human rights record at COP27. As President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi’s government has criminalized free assembly and banned demonstrations, those demonstrations appear unlikely.

Sameh Shoukry, Egypt’s foreign minister, said that Egypt would permit some demonstrations at COP27. However only in a facility adjacent to the conference centre rather than in negotiating rooms or on the streets. Environmental activists said they remain fearful of climate change and global warming.

COPs in the past

Berlin was the site of the first COP in 1995. After a critical mass of nations approved the climate convention, which set the stage for two years later’s Kyoto Protocol.

In contrast, the Kyoto Protocol required wealthy, industrialized nations to cut emissions. However developing countries like China, India, and Brazil would reduce emissions voluntarily.

Climate change has been the subject of the last few decades of debate between the senate and the president over which nation is most responsible. In 2015, Obama’s authority broke the impasse by leading about 200 countries to sign the groundbreaking Paris climate agreement. For the first time, rich and developing countries agreed to act, albeit at various centres, to check out the solutions for climate change.

After the cancellation of the United States from the Paris accord, President Donald J. Trump rejoined the agreement under Vice President Joe Biden.

Although leaders made big contracts in Paris, nations need to take more actions to stave off the worst effects of climate change. At COP26, nations pledged to be more ambitious in Glasgow, and some have been. The United Nations reported recently that only about two dozen countries have followed through on their commitments.

Many world leaders, scientists, and activists agree that more ambition is needed even as nations begin to reduce their carbon footprints.

COP26 in Glasgow

COP26 produced the Glasgow Pact. It is an agreement among 200 nations. In a way to limit global temperature rise to under 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit), nations are asked to “revisit and strengthen” their emissions targets by the end of 2022.

It is noticed that developed nations have failed to meet a decade-old promise to help deliver $100 billion annually by 2020, urging them to “at least double” finance for adaptation by 2025.

On the sidelines of the formal negotiations, many of the agreements were struck by countries and corporations. More than 100 countries agreed to reduce methane emissions, a potent planet-warming gas, by 30 per cent this decade. Another 130 countries vowed to prevent deforestation by 2030 and commit a huge fund toward the effort. Dozens of other countries promised to eliminate their coal plants eventually and sales of gasoline-powered vehicles in the upcoming years.

 COP26: Level of Execution

The United States passed a law last year to contribute $370 billion to drive the country away from fossil fuels and depend more on GHG emissions-free energies like solar, wind, and nuclear power. It is expected to get to its goal of cutting emissions at least 50 percentage below 2005 levels by 2025.

Does the 1.5-degree target matter?

It’s the threshold beyond which scientists say the likelihood of disastrous climate impacts — like severe heat waves, water scarcity, drop in crop production and collapse of the ecosystem— is relatively going up. Our mother earth has warmed by about 1.1 degrees Celsius.

Compelling global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius requires all nations to cut emissions faster and more profoundly than they already are doing.

Loss and damage

Loss and damage related to climate change the countries are passing on now are relatively high nowadays. But cannot acclimatize to impoverish, developing nations that have contributed the least to global warming. It’s a changing sanctum for the above 30 million people in Pakistan displaced by floods. Or they’re shifting communities in Fiji from aquatic plages because of rising waterbodies.

The Economic support during such calamities was discussed at COP27.

What is at stake at COP27?

This conference test whether the international community can respond to the rising urgency of the crisis.

The environmental activist and policy analyst Alden Meyer, who has attended 25 of the 26 climate change conferences, says negotiations must shift from haggling over legal terms to helping countries meet their emission pledges by the end of the year to prevent more catastrophes and protect the most vulnerable.

Solutions to Climate Changes

After decades of ferocious exploration, scientists has recognized a great deal regarding the climate system and the effects people are having on it. Scientific substantiation relating to climate change spans variety of fields of study and includes work from the knockouts of thousands of scientists. Scientists have strictly assessed and singly corroborated the substantiation hundreds of times, as described in this memo.

Three broad conclusions affect comprehensive assessments of scientific substantiation:

  1. People are causing the climate to change, mainly due to hothouse gas emigrations.
  2. Mortal-induced climate change is dangerous, and the consequences are potentially dire.
  3. We’ve numerous options for reducing the impacts of climate change.

These conclusions come from multiple lines of substantiation.

Solutions form Various Sectors

Options to lower the consequences of climate change generally fall into four fields:

Mitigation

 — sweats to reduce hothouse gas emigrations.

Mitigation reduces our future emissions of GHG to the atmosphere. This will affect lower human disturbance of the climate system– the amount that climate will change because of our emissions– and increases the chances that climate change will be manageable. Approaches to reducing emissions fall into several orders. These include
1) regulation;
2) exploration, development, and deployment of new technologies;
3) preservation of energy or land;
4) sweats to increase public mindfulness;
5) positive impulses to encourage choices that lower emigration;
6) increasing the cost of utilizing the atmosphere to dispose of greenhouse gases.
This last approach is particularly noteworthy because it anticipates to beget a broad-reaching reduction in emigration. It has entered a great deal of attention from the exploration community and is a focus of policy conversations. It can also be anticipated to induce net benefits by correcting a request failure( that emitters presently can use the atmosphere without paying for the cost of climate damage that they spawn).

Adaption

 — adding society’s capacity to manage climate change.

Adaption involves the structure’s capacity to avoid, repel, and recover from climate change impacts. It includes regulating to reduce vulnerability, planning disaster recovery, assessing the effects of critical systems and resources etc. It also ensures compliance and monitoring, relocating vulnerable populations and resources. These are examples of ways to minimize compounding stresses. Mainly it concern about traditional air pollution, niche loss and decline, invasive species, species demolitions, and nitrogen deposits.

Geoengineering or Earth manipulation 

— new, deliberate intervention in the Earth system that tries to offset some of the impacts of hothouse gas emigrations.

Geoengineering or Earth manipulation, if feasible, might help lower greenhouse gas attention. Offset the global warming influence of Greenhouse gas emissions, address specific climate change impacts, or offer despair strategies in the event we need them. Geoengineering also creates pitfalls because attempts to alter the Earth’s system could lead to unintended and negative consequences. Two approaches admit the utmost attention reflecting the sun to space to neutralize hothouse gas warming and carbon remmoval( rooting carbon dioxide from the air and storing it deep in the ground or ocean). Carbon removal to match hu an emission isn’t presently possible. Reflecting sun would not address all consequences of hothouse gas emigration (e.g. ocean acidification).

Research

 sweats to further understand the climate system, our impact on it, the consequences, or the response options themselves.

Research works includes Exploration, compliances, scientific assessment, and technology development. It can increase understanding of the Earth system. Similarly it reveal pitfalls or openings associated with the climate system, and support decision-making concerning climate change. The new knowledge could reveal new spaces for reducing the consequences of climate change. And thus help with the early discovery of successes and failures. As a result, programs to expand the knowledge base can bolster and support our responses to climate change.

Climate change is at the forefront of the political sphere as we head into 2023 and with the new administration. There is, however, a complex aspect to climate change, and it has the potential to overwhelm us. The reality is that real solutions will require action on a global scale in order to be implemented. But you can still make small changes in your day-to-day life in order to make a positive impact on the environment.

Renewable powers

We have to change our sources of energy to clean and renewable energy. Solar, Wind, Geothermal and biomass are among those. The main challenge is barring the burning of coal, oil and, ultimately, natural gas. The citizens of richer nations eat, wear, work, play and indeed sleep on the products made from renewable energies. And population developing nations want and arguably earn the same comforts, largely thanks to the energy stored in similar energies.
Oil is the lubricant of global frugality and fundamental to consumers and goods transportation. Coal is the main source, supplying roughly half of the electricity used worldwide. There are no exact results for reducing dependence on fossil energies. As an illustration, carbon-neutral biofuels can drive up the price of food and lead to timber destruction. While nuclear power doesn’t emit hothouse feasts, it produces radioactive waste, so every bit counts.

Reforestation

Every time, 33 million acres of timbers are cut down. Timber harvesting in the tropics contributes1.5 billion metric tons of carbon to the atmosphere. It shows 20 per cent of man- made GHG emissions and a source that could be avoided fairly fluently.
Better agricultural practices along with paper recycling and timber operation should be take. Balancing the quantity of wood taken out with the number of new trees growing could be a solution to control the climate changes.

Electricity

Believe it or not, utmost people have to spend further amount on electricity to power bias when off than when on. Stereo outfit, computers, battery dishes and a host of other widgets and appliances consume further energy when switched off, so better unplug them.
Purchasing energy-effective widgets can also save energy and money — therefore precluding further Climate changes. To take but one illustration, effective battery dishes could save further than one billion kilowatt- hours of electricity —$ 100 million at current electricity prices and therefore help the release of further than one million metric tons of green house gases.

Population

Currently, there are at least 6.6 billion people living, a number prognosticated by the United Nations to rise by at least nine billion by the middle of the century. TheU.N. Environmental Program estimates it requires 54 acres to sustain an average population — food, apparel and other coffers uprooted from the earth. Continuing similar population growth seems unsustainable.

Biofuels

Biofuels can have numerous negative impacts, from adding food prices to stinking up more energy than they produce. Hydrogen must be created, taking either reforming natural gas or electricity to crack water into molecules. Biodiesel hybrid electric vehicles which can plug into the grid overnightmay offer a better transportation result in the short term. Given the energy viscosity of diesel and the carbon-neutral ramifications of energy from shops, as well as the emigrations of electric machines. A recent study set up that the present quantum of electricity could give enough energy for the entire line of motorcars to switch to plug- in hybrids, as a solution to climate changes.

Reduce Consumption

The easiest way to reduce green house gas emissions is to buy lower stuff. Whether by abstaining an machine or employing a applicable grocery sack, cutting back on consumption results in smaller fossil energies being burned to prize, produce and transport products around the globe.
suppose green when making purchases. For case, if you’re in the request for a new auto, buy one that will last the long and have the least impact on the planet. Therefore, a used vehicle with a mongrel machine offers superior energy effectiveness over the long haul while saving the environmental impact of new auto manufacturing.

Sustainable Transportation

Our transport styles must be aligned with environmental conditions and reduce their carbon footmark. We must reevaluate our transport styles from the design stage towardseco-friendly transportation. Transportation is the alternate leading source of GHG gas emissions in theU.S.( burning a single gallon of gasoline produces 20 pounds of CO2). But it does not have to be that way.
One way to dramatically dock transportation energy needs is to move closer to work, use mass conveyance, or switch to walking, cycling or some other mode of transport that doesn’t bear anything other than mortal energy. There’s also the option of working from home and telecommuting several days a week.
Cutting down on long- distance trip would also help, most specially airplane breakouts, one of the fastest growing sources of GHG gas emissions and a source that arguably releases similar emigrations in the worst possible spot( advanced in the atmosphere). Flight travels are also one of the many sources of global- warming pollution for which there is not a feasible volition. The jets calculate on kerosene because it packs the most energy per pound, allowing them to travel far and fast. Yet, it takes roughly 10 gallons of oil painting to make one gallon of spurt energy. Confining flying to only critical, long- distance passages to various parts of the world, trains can replace aeroplanes for short- to medium- distance passages — would help check airplane emissions.

Sea and Ocean preservation


In terms of storage capacity, oceans and seas are considered to be the largest reservoirs of greenhouse gases. They provide an exceptional support system for life on this planet. In order to protect our natural resources, we must limit overfishing, develop in a sustainable manner in coastal areas, and consume those products which are environmentally friendly.

Circular economy

Using the three r’s of circular economy, that is, to “Reduce, Reuse and Recycle”, is highly important to reduce our waste and avoid excessive production significantly. So Waste Management & Recycling should also be done properly in order to reduce the effect of climatic changes in the future. Adapting our production methods to our consumption patterns is the easiest way to reduce waste. Taking recycling into account in our consumption habits is also important

Future Fuels

Replacing Fossil energies may prove the great challenge of the 21st century. Numerous contenders live, ranging from ethanol deduced from crops to hydrogen electrolyzed out of the water, but all of them have some downsides, too, and none are incontinently available at the scale demanded.

But plug- in hybrids would still calculate on electricity, now generally generated by burning coal. Massive investment in low- emigration energy generation, whether solar- thermal power or nuclear fission, would be needed to radically reduce green house gas emissions. And indeed more academic energy sources hyphens humanity’s first planet wide trial. But, if all else fails, it could not be the last. So- called geoengineering, radical interventions to either block harmful sun rays or reduce green house gases, is a implicit last resort for addressing the challenge of climate change.

Climate Change: Causes and Effects

Climate change specifies to long-term shifts in temperatures and weather patterns. These changes may be natural, such as through divergence in the solar cycle. However since the 1800s, human activities are the main cause of climate change. Mainly due to burning fossil fuels like coal, oil and gas.

Burning fossil fuels generates greenhouse gas emissions like a blanket wrapped around the Earth’s atmosphere, trapping the Sun’s heat and raising temperatures.

Examples of greenhouse gas emissions causing climate change include carbon dioxide and methane. These come from using gasoline to drive a car or coal to heat etc. Deforestation can also release carbon dioxide, and landfills for garbage constitute a significant source of emission of green house gases

It is the highest level of greenhouse gas concentrations.

 And emissions is still rising. And therefore the Earth is now about 1.1°C warmer than ever before. 2011-2020 was the warmest decade on record.

Climate change not only means warmer temperatures. But also the temperature rise is only the starting of the many other problems. Since the Earth is a system where everything is interconnected, changes in one section will result changes to all other sections too.

Intensified droughts, water scarcity, severe fires, rising sea levels, flooding, melting polar ice, catastrophic storms, and declining biodiversity have all been linked to climate change.

The impacts of climate change are diverse for different people.

 Climate change can affect even our day-to-day life. Many of us are already vulnerable to climate impacts, mainly consisting of people living in small island nations and other similar developing areas. Problems like sea-level rise and saltwater intrusion are rising, so the communities nearby must relocate. Also, protracted droughts are putting people at risk of famine. Shortly, the number of “climate refugees” is expected to rise. 

 Climate Change: The Causes

Human activities are promoting the global warming trend observed since the mid-20th century.

  • The greenhouse effect is highly essential for sustaining life on Earth. But human-made pollution in is trapping heat.
  • The five essential greenhouse gases causing climate change are CO2, nitrous oxide, methane, chlorofluorocarbons, and water vapour.

 About 90% of this heat is absorbed by greenhouse gases and re-radiated; thus, it is slowing heat loss to space.

Power Generations

Generating power and heat by burning fossil fuels causes many global emissions of greenhouse gases. Electricity is mainly generated by burning coal, oil, or gas, which produces potent greenhouse gases. Globally, electricity also comes from wind, solar and other renewable sources, which emit little to no greenhouse gases or pollutants into the air as opposed to fossil fuels.

Manufacturing goods

Manufacturing and industry produce emissions, mainly from burning fossil fuels, to have energy for manufacturing things like cement, iron, clothes, steel, electronics, plastics and other goods. Mining and other industrial processes release gases, as does the construction industry. Machines used in manufacturing often run on coal, oil, or gas; some materials, like plastics, are made from chemicals sourced from fossil fuels. The manufacturing industry is a prominent donor of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide.

Deforestation

Cutting down trees to make farmlands, or for similar other reasons, causes emissions of CO2. When they are cut, they release the CO2 they have been storing inside. Every year about 12 million hectares of forest undergo destruction. Since forests absorb CO2 destroying them also limits nature’s ability to emit gases out of the atmosphere. Deforestation, agriculture, and other land use changes are also responsible for a limited amount of emission of greenhouse gases.

Transportation

Most vehicles like cars, trucks, ships and planes run on fossil fuels. That makes transportation a significant contributor to greenhouse gases, especially carbon-dioxide emissions. Road vehicles account for the most important part, due to the combustion of petroleum-based products, in internal combustion engines. But greenhouse gas emissions from ships and planes continue to grow. Transport contributes to nearly one-quarter of global energy-related CO2 emissions. And as per the report, there will be a significant increase in energy use for transportation in the upcoming decades.

Food production

Food production causes emissions of CO2, methane, and other greenhouse gases in various ways. It also includes deforestation and clearance of land for agriculture and grazing, the production and use of fertilizers and other chemicals for crop cultivation, and the energy consumption to run farm equipment or fishing boats with fossil fuels. All this makes food production a significant promoter of climate change. 

Electricity

Residential and commercial buildings worldwide consume over half of all electricity. Since they continue to depend on coal, oil, and natural gas for various purposes, they emit significant greenhouse gas emissions. Growing energy demand for heating and cooling, rising air-conditioner ownership, and increased electricity consumption for lighting, appliances, and connected devices, have contributed to a rise in emissions of greenhouse gases from buildings recently.

High rate of Consumption 

Your daily work, power usage, how and what you consume and how much you waste all contribute to greenhouse gas emissions. So indirectly, it relies on consuming goods such as clothing, electronics, plastics etc. A large amount of global greenhouse gas emissions is linked to private households.

 Our lifestyles have a subtle impact on our planet.

 A rise in global warming is a serious issue.

 According to UN reports, limiting global temperature rise to 1.5°C will avoid the worst climate changes and maintain a suitable climate. Even then, currently, reports are showing a 2.8°C rise in temperature within a few years. 

 Some countries produce greenhouse gases much more than others. The 100 least-emitting countries have about 3 per cent of total emissions, and the 10 countries with the most significant emissions are about 68 per cent. So even though everyone must take climate action, those creating more of the problem have a higher responsibility for immediate action.

Effects of Climate Changes

Global climate change is not a problem we must face in the future. Changes to Earth’s climate driven by rising emissions of heat-trapping greenhouse gases have boundless effects on the environment: melting of glaciers and ice sheets, plant and animal geographical locations are shifting, and plant and trees are blooming sooner. Some changes like droughts, wildfires, and extreme rainfall are happening faster than previously predicted. As the IPCC(Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change ) – the United Nations body responsible for assessing climate change – points out, modern humans have never seen such changes in our global climate. Some of these changes will be irreversible in the coming years.

  • The melting of glaciers and ice sheets, rising sea level, and more intense heat waves are some of the effects of climate change.
  • Some reports show that global temperature rises from human-made pollutants will continue. As a result, severe weather damage will also increase and intensify in the upcoming years.

Hotter temperatures

As greenhouse gas concentrations increase, the global surface temperature is also rising. The period 2011-2020 is the warmest ever on record. Since the 1980s, each decade has been more generous than the previous one. Moreover, land areas are becoming warmer. Rising temperatures increase heat-related illnesses and make working outdoors more difficult. Wildfires start more quickly and spread more rapidly when conditions are more alluring…

Severe storms

Destructive and heavy storms are becoming more frequent in many parts of the world. When temperatures rise, more moisture evaporates, resulting in extreme rainfall and flooding, causing more violent storms. The warming ocean also affects the frequency and extent of tropical storms. Cyclones, hurricanes, and typhoons feed on warm waters at the ocean surface. These storms often destroy homes and communities, causing deaths and substantial economic losses.

Increased drought

Climate change is affecting water availability, making it scarcer in more regions. Global warming results in water shortages in already water-stressed areas. It also leads to a high risk of agricultural droughts affecting crops, thereby increasing ecosystem vulnerability. It can also cause destructive sand and dust storms that shift tons of sand across the vast land area. This results in expansions, thereby reducing land for growing food. Many people now need more water regularly.

Warming and rising ocean temperature

The sea’s temperature variation rate has enormously increased over the last few years overall oceanic depth. As the ocean warms, its volume increases as the water expand while heating. The melting of glaciers also causes sea levels to rise, threatening coastal areas. In addition, the ocean absorbs CO2, keeping it from the atmosphere. But more carbon dioxide makes the ocean acidic, which endangers marine life and coral reefs.

Loss of species

Climate change risks species’ survival on land and in the ocean, and these risks rise as temperatures increases. As a result of climate change, the world is losing species at 1,000 times greater than at any other time in recorded human history. One million species risk becoming extinct within the next few decades. Forest fires, extreme weather, invasive pests and diseases are many threats to climate change. Some species can relocate and survive, while others can’t.

Scarcity of food

Climate changes and increases in extreme weather also lead to global hunger and malnutrition. Fisheries, crops, and livestock are highly affected or become less productive. Even the marine resources that feed billions of people are at risk, with the ocean becoming more acidic. Ice-melting Arctic regions have affected food from herding, hunting, and fishing. Heat can affect water and grasslands. Therefore causing a decline in crop yields and thus affecting livestock.

More health risks

Climate change is the single biggest threat facing human life too. People in places where they cannot grow food or find enough food are already experiencing health impacts due to air pollution, disease, extreme weather events, forced displacement, and food insecurity. Every year, environmental factors take the lives of around 13 million people, and health systems have difficulty keeping up with extreme weather events due to changing weather patterns. Diseases are spreading and deaths are rising as a result of changing weather patterns.

Poverty and displacement

Climate change also affects the factors that put and keep people in poverty. Urban slums may be swept away by floods, destroying homes and livelihoods. Heat can make it challenging to work in outdoor jobs, and water scarcity may affect crops. During the period(2010–2019), weather-related events displaced an estimated 23.1 million people each year, leaving them much more vulnerable to poverty. Most refugees come from the most vulnerable countries and are least ready to adapt to the impacts of climate change.

Climate change: Are scientists on the same page?

New technologies have helped scientists to collect information about our planet and its climate worldwide. These data, collected over many years, reveal the signs and patterns of a changing environment.

Scientists illustrated the heat-trapping nature of CO2 and other gases in the middle of the 19th century. Many science instruments in NASA study climate change and how these gases affect the movement of heat radiation through our atmosphere. 

How are climatic changes being resolved?

In executing its mission sustainability objectives are to:

  • High energy efficiency;
  • High the use of renewable energy;
  • Measure, report, and reduce the emission of greeenhouse gases;
  • Conserve and protect water bodiesthrough efficient reuse, and management of storm water;
  • Eliminate waste, prevention of pollution, and increase recycling of products;
  • Design, construction, maintainance of high-performance, sustainable buildings;
  • High utilization of power management options and reduce the number of agency data centres;
  • Assessment of agency climate change risks and vulnerabilities and development of mitigation and adaptation measures to manage both short- and long-term effects on mission and operations;
  • Maintain compliance with all laws and regulations related to energy efficiency and security, a healthy environment, and environmentally-sound operations; and
  • Comply with internal NASA requirements and agreements with other entities.

 

 

Lignin Valorization

In the last decade, lignocelluloses have drawn the scientific community’s attention as a rich resource for 2G ethanol production and other by-products. This is highly important because of many reasons. It mainly include climate change concerns. Also the risks of interruptions in food supply chains in various parts of the world are becoming more urgent. In this circular economy, lignin valorization in biorefineries serve as the highly suitable industrial platform to develop the essential chemical changes.

Biorefineries are defined by the IEA as the sustainable processing of residual biomass into a wide range of bio-based products. It mainly includes food, feed, materials, chemicals etc and bioenergy like fuels, power, heat etc. Furthermore, the main goal of the biorefineries are the complete valorization of stubble. Thereby lowering the environmental pollution through an alternative energy or materials and to achieve less dependency on fossil-based fuels and materials.
Regarding the lignocellulosic biorefineries, there are still important limitations that still make them non-cost-competitive.

The first commercial lignocellulosic ethanol production facility started in the U.S (2013). Initially plan consists of the construction of 5 lignocellulosic ethanol plants from 2013 to 2016. However only one ethanol plant was in operation in 2019. Moreover, the maximum lignocellulosic ethanol production from this biomass source peaked in 2018 at 15 million gallons. Far behind the expected target of 7 billion gallons expected. As a result of the ability to produce low to high-value compounds on a large and stable basis from lignin. Lignocellulosic biorefineries could potentially become more economically viable. Also competitive by offering a diverse range of products instead of just methanol.

Conversion of lignin

 Definition of Lignin and its features

Lignin is the complex chemical compound most derived from biomass. It is a set of non-sugar molecules acting like glue to hold the fibres. It is a chemical bond of carbohydrate materials, occurs throughout the cell wall, and fills the spaces in it. Lignin is the main component of lignocellulosic biomass, making up about 15-30% of its weight. The three main monomers consists of almost all lignin found in nature are:

  • p-Coumaryl alcohol-minor component of stubble
  • Coniferyl alcohol-mainly found in softwoods
  • Sinapyl alcohol-building blocks of hardwood lignins

Considering the chemical structure of lignin, it is composed of three primary phenylpropane units or hydroxyl cinnamyl alcohols. It mainly consists of guaiacyl propanol (G), syringyl propanol (S) and p-hydroxyphenyl propanol (H). These all link through various chemical bonds. Although the phenylpropane units have similar chemical structures, their differences rely mainly on the quantity of substitution of methoxy functional compounds.

Importance:

  • Adhesive of wood
  • Binds the fibres
  • Provides rigidity and toxicity to the wood
  • It is the most slowly decomposing component of biomass, contributing a significant part of the material that becomes humus as it decomposes.

Uses and Properties: 

 The lignin adds compressive strength and hardness to the cell wall of plants and have a major role in the evolution of greens by suporting them to withstand the gravitational force. It also waterproofs the plant’s cell wall, supporting the upward movement of water in xylem tissues. Lastly, lignin has antifungal properties and often rapidly deposits in response to fungal infection, protecting the plants from the diffusion of toxic fungal enzymes.

Lignin is removed from wood pulp in manufacturing paper. It is mainly by treatment with chemical agents such as sulfur dioxide, sodium sulfide, or Sodium hydroxide. 

Particleboard and similar laminated or composite wood products contain lignin as a binding agent, as a soil conditioner, as a filler or as an active ingredient of phenolic resins, and as a linoleum adhesive. Vanillin (synthetic vanilla) and dimethyl sulfoxide are also made from lignin.

The main properties of lignin include:

  • Highly stable material. So it requires treatment with solid alkali at high temperatures.
  • Stable with acids
  • Oxidizing agent
  • lignin structure is complex.

Sustainability of lignin valorization

Lignin is the second rich biopolymer in stubble, with high potential as a source of many aromatic chemicals and compounds required for construction. Over-exploitation of lignin can raise the profitability of many lignocellulosic biorefineries and the production of biobased products that can contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions from those of equivalent fossil fuel-based processes. However, one of the main obstacles to the full exploitation of biobased materials is the complex structural variation of isolated lignins due to the natural variability of biomass feedstocks and the differences in biorefinery layouts: The distribution of molecular weights, the distribution of available groups, and the residual impurities are all affected.

Large volume and low specific value applications of lignin include producing energy and biofuels. In contrast, small-volume and higher value-added applications include the production of chemicals through lignin depolymerization and specific functionalization.

Future of Lignin Valorization

While the most common lignin from the pulp paper industry currently accounts for 170 tons/year, additional important current lignin include lignosulfonates, alkali lignin, acid hydrolysis lignin, steam explosion lignin and organosolve lignin. The development of novel pretreatment technologies at the industrial scale, such as steam-assisted pretreatment or solvent-assisted biomass fractionation, has led to novel lignins from novel feedstocks with characteristics suitable for more targeted potential applications.

The current review consists of the analysis of the available technical lignin with a special focus on lignins stemming from new technologies and producers, including market volumes at the global level. At the European level, many projects have been funded in the last ten years for the conversion of lignins to final products.

There are many challenges facing biorefineries, including novel and sustainable approaches to lignocellulose fractionation, treatment, transformation, and commercialization of the final products, as well as resolving a number of constraints that affect lignin treatment/transformation. This blog highlights the main restraints for industrial lignin valorization in light of its abundance as stubble and the sustability of lignin valolrization and its potential applications in different industries. In addition, lignin depolymerization propose a flexible and potentially resilient platform under instabilities in the market. Furthermore, Khaitan is implementing the essential technological tools to accelerate scientific breakthroughs in lignin research and the development of lignin for use as a source of fuels and materials in the future

Gypsum -Global Market

Gypsum Market Outlook

The global gypsum market is projected to reach US$ 4.3 Bn in 2022. The global demand for gypsum expect to increase by 6.2% CAGR by 2032, reaching US$ 7.8 Bn. Global gypsum market is supposed to be driven by the rising construction of various global projects. The annual growth rate from 2018 to 2023 is anticipated at 4.0%, increasing to 8.2%for 2023-2028. According to a report, Gypsum production is increasing in recent years, and it is suppose to contribute about 2% to 3% to the global mineral output

The key barometer used to predict the economic state of the gypsum industry is the construction industry. If the construction industry is an expansive market, the demand for gypsum products also increases. Increasing demand for construction materials such as drywall, plasterboard, cement, and others suppose to raise demand for Gypsum. Sales in its market show 11.5% of the global construction chemicals market.

Key factors affecting the Global Gypsum Market Growth

In the upcoming years, the key factors specified below expects to affect the industry growth and use of gypsum in different end-use applications:

  • Diversification
  • Durability
  • Regulatory trends
  • Recycling and sustainability
  • Regional trends
  • Prefabrication.

Diversification

 New demands in construction will lead to the developing of gypsum products and see companies diversify their product portfolios. This will create a price premium for higher-performance products that offer superior durability and environmental performance. At the top of the market, there will be some scope for plasterboards with smart functionality, such as monitoring moisture content.

Durability

 End users will demand more durable gypsum products to resist impact and water damage in response to more demanding building regulations. Therefore this will require refinements in gypsum production to optimise these products.

Regulatory trends

The International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) and International Green Construction Code (IgCC) will directly impact the plasterboard’s future potential. Of course similar codes are there in other countries too. A change in the building code often is a catalyst for innovation and product development. Laws in many jurisdictions will require closer monitoring of materials used in construction. This will require closer monitoring of supply chains and exact disclosure of product composition.

The energy codes have fostered product development as there is now a requirement for the exterior walls to incorporate an air barrier. Environmental regulations are also having a big effect on the market. Concern over greenhouse gas emissions and global climate change is forcing the market to consider greener options.

Recycling and sustainability

There is increasing pressure to recycle building products after their useful life. Part of the pressure comes from end-use influencers, architects, and part of it is regulation changes on how much material can be landfilled. As a result, a new industry is rising around the recycling of gypsum, specifically plasterboard products. Some plasterboard manufacturers are promoting program to recycle plasterboard products that went to construction sites.

Government regulations and green building initiatives will develop a catalyst for distributors to explore value adding services that divert used gypsum from land filling. Clearly the main focus will be for greater emphasis on gypsum recycling and its conversion into a new form of construction materials. In the US, standards are being developed to help guide the practice of recycling. However these guidelines include defining what materials undergo recycling, how to segregate the waste at construction sites and the proper marking for these materials.

Regional trends

 Many transition economies will see more demand for gypsum as urbanization is booming and adopt plasterboards as an alternative to wet construction techniques employing cement and plaster. The adoption of plasterboard in developing countries is truly gaining traction. Countries that traditionally used wet trades (plaster, cement) and technology are moving more and more into plasterboard construction. When a new product is introduced into a region, it is typically manufactured elsewhere and imported to the new market. As the supply chain to support local production simply does not exist at an early stage. As the product becomes established, so does demand, creating the impetus for local production.

Italy is a good example of this in that for many years, and it did not have any local plasterboard manufacturing facilities.

Panelisation for prefabrication

The desire to reduce construction time while increasing quality has led to a renewed emphasis on panelisation. As builders continue to move towards greater pre fabrication and panelisation, gypsum suppliers require to develop plasterboards and other products that can be adapted to these construction methods. Small companies are emerging that specialize in panelizing specific components on commercial projects. Forward-thinking contractors are setting up divisions simply focused on panelisation. While penalization is nothing new, what is driving it is incorporating building information modelling (BIM) into the process.

Country-wise Insights

 Driving factor of Gypsum Market-U.S

High Consumption of Gypsum for the Production of Drywall in the U.S. Will Fuel Growth

In 2021, the demand for Gypsum in the U.S. market grew by 4.9% each year and suppose to be about 50 Million Tons in 2022. The U.S. is the second largest producer of Gypsum, following China. According to world mining data, the total production of crude Gypsum across the country was recorded at about 22 Mn Tons in 2020.

High demand for drywall and plasterboards from the building & construction departments in the U.S. makes it a basic trader of Gypsum and its products. In addition the rising demand of PoP in the interior dezigning sector boost sales over the judgement duration.

Driving factor of Gypsum Market-China

Increasing Usage of Plasterboard in the Residential Sector in China Will Spur Demand”

China is the key producer and consumer of Gypsum. About 78% of the overall gypsum utilization will be in East Asia in 2022. The high demand in the country makes China a lucrative market for gypsum producers.

According to World Mining Data, China expect to be the predominant producer of Gypsum, followed by America, Iran, and Turkey. Moreover, in China, the total production of natural Gypsum is expected to be recorded at 25 Mn tons in 2020.

Consistent growth in the country’s construction industry is fuelling the demand for construction materials. Since gypsum is an essential constituent in producing various vital construction materials like cement, gypsum board, plasterboard, Plaster of Paris, Gypsum plaster and numerous others, and is getting traction.

Indian Gypsum Market in India

The high demand for gypsum plaster in India will contribute to the industries’ growth.

The increasing expansion in India’s building & construction sector expects to fuel Gypsum sales at a 7% CAGR over the assessment period.

It is increasing the construction of various projects across urban cities in India, bolstering Gypsum’s demand. Moreover, consistent growth in the production of cement also expects to boost growth in the gypsum market.

Category-wise Insights

Natural Gypsum

It is the Most Preferred Product Type in the Market  

Natural Gypsum to Remain High in Adoption

Considering the product type, natural gypsum suppose to dominate the Gypsum market. As per FMI, sales of natural gypsum seems to file each year at a growth of about 5.8% .

The natural segment suppose to gain high BPS points over the forecast duration owing to high usage in diverse end use in various firms, whereas synthetic sector has obtained traction after analyzing for period of 2017 – 2021 owing to high demand for tailored gypsum commodities.

 Construction Industry is Fueling Gypsum Consumption

Usage of Gypsum in Cement Production Results in Increasing Demand

Consumption of gypsum for cement production suppose to rise at a CAGR of 6.6% over the forecast period. Gypsum finds usages in various end use industries, with high utilization in cement, plaster, and drywalls.

Competitive Landscape

Through mergers, acquisitions, and collaborations, leading gypsum manufacturers are expanding their production plants. As a result, they are also investing in research and development to gain a competitive edge. 

In September 2021, in line with its May 20, 2021 announcement, a market lead announced that it had completed the acquisition of a leading global gypsum market player in the construction chemicals market, thanks to its comprehensive additives solutions for sustainable construction. This acquisition, perfectly in line with the strategy to position itself as a world leader in sustainable construction, allows to strengthen the presence in the growing construction chemicals market while benefiting from cost and sales synergies.

Silica-Sustainable Benefits and Impacts

Silica, also called silicon dioxide, combines Silicon and Oxygen, SiO2. It is a common mineral found in the crust of the earth, and it can be seen in stone, soil, sand, concrete, brick, mortar, and other construction materials. Non-crystalline Silica can be found in glass, silicon carbide, and silicone and these are much less hazardous to the lungs. In the case of Crystalline Silica, it comes in different forms, and Quartz is the most common form of crystalline Silica. Workers’ exposure to respirable crystalline Silica is associated with elevated lung cancer rates. Silica has vital benefits and impacts the whole environment, including human beings, animals, plants, water and air.

Benefits of Silica on the human body

As per some of the research, Silica has many benefits for the human body. It is a trace mineral integral to connective tissue’s structure and functional integrity and a common health supplement that aids in the development of bone, skin, and nails.

  • It supports bone formation and maintenance.
  • Helps to make collagen
  • Helps to protect heart health

Benefits of Silica in Industries

Silica has widespread industrial benefits, including its use as a food additive, as a means to clarify beverages, dough modifier, as an excipient in drugs and vitamins etc. It has a variety of application in many industrial purposes, from construction to chemicals to glass and for common products like plastic, paint, rubber, personal care products, electronics etc. Silica gel is not a gel; it can absorb water and other liquids instead of dissolving. That’s why it is used in food packets, shoe boxes, and dirty laundry in toolboxes to absorb moisture. Some of the industries are;

  • Glassmaking

All standard and speciality glasses comprise silica sand as the primary component. SiO2 component helps glass formulation, and its chemical purity is the primary determinant of colour, clarity and strength.

  • Metal casting          

Silica sand is the most commonly used type of foundry sand. This sand was used in core making, so switching to using the same aggregate in the complete casting process made managing foundry supplies easier.

  • Personal care products or Cosmetics

Silica is common in cosmetic and skincare products because it can change the feel and texture of the product. Silica act as an absorbing agent, anti-caking agent, bulking agent, suspending agent etc.

Benefits of Silica for the environment and Plants

In relation to Silica, plants can categorizes into three types: accumulators, intermediaries and non-accumulators. These categorization mainly depends on the extent to which Silica accumulates in the plant’s tissue. 

Accumulators have the highest accumulation rate, and the most significant benefits have been tied to these plants. Non-accumulator plants also positively respond to the use of silicas in fertilization. Silica consider to be a quasi-essential nutrient for most plants. Some of the benefits are;

  •  Increases plant tolerance to drought, frost and lodging
  •  Increased resistance to abiotic stress
  •  Increased resistance to biotic stress

SILICA IN AIR, WATER AND HEALTH EFFECTS

Environmental effects of Silica in air

Exposure to silica dust will cause various health problems among people. This will be a more serious issue for workers who work in environments that contain silica dust since inhalation of such dust will irritate the lungs and mucus membranes. 

Environmental effects of Silica in water

Keeping aside the fact that Silica’s presence in water is generally harmless since it is naturally present in larger amounts. But an abnormal level of Silica in water will limit the algal growth in the water bodies. Moreover, zeolite, a phosphate replacement in detergents affects the water organisms. Thus, concentrated levels of Silica in water will alleviate the plant water status and water balance in both monocot and dicot plants, mainly under drought and salt stresses. 

Health risks of exposure

Breathing in silica dust will often result in silicosis because when these dust particles gets into the lung tissue, it causes inflammation and scarring, eventually reducing the lung’s ability to breathe in the required amount of oxygen into the human body. This condition is commonly referred to as ‘silicosis’. Thus, silicosis results in permanent lung damage that might be progressive, debilitating and even fatal. Cough, fatigue, shortness of breath, and chest pain are common symptoms. Ten or more years of continuous exposure to crystalline Silica will result in chronic silicosis. 

Till now, there is no cure for silicosis, and some patients might require lung transplantation. Often, workers get more exposed to Silica, causing an increased risk of tuberculosis. 

Following are the other serious health effects resulting from increased exposure to crystalline Silica in workers;

  • Lung cancer happens when cells in the body grow out of control and become tumours. Cancerous cells from the body can spread to other parts of the body resulting in metastasis.
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): This includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema with symptoms like shortness of breath, coughing, sputum production etc. 
  • Kidney disease: Various studies among workers have stated that increasing levels of silica exposure for a larger period will increase the risk of chronic kidney diseases among workers.
  • Autoimmune disease: Studies among workers also show that increased silica exposure increases the risk of autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus and systemic sclerosis.

Silica has a wide application in medicine, textile, cosmetics, construction, and other industries too. The researches are undergoing for the further applications of Silica on the human body. Silica has both benefits and negative impacts on the environment, and it can lead to growth and put nature at risk.

Sustainable Benefits of Gypsum

Gypsum mineral is non-toxic. It is a very common sulfate and represented as CaSO4.2H2O and chemically known as calcium sulfate dihydrate. It consists of water and calcium sulphate attached to oxygen. Gypsum is helpful to animals, humans, and plants. Calcium sulphate, generally called natural gypsum, is obtained from nature in different forms, often as dihydrate (CaSO 4 2H 2 O) and as anhydrite (CaSO 4 ), which are the result of total or partial evaporation of inland seas and lakes. Both anhydrite and dihydrate exist in nature in a variety of forms. Depending upon the types, the uses of gypsum varies.

Uses of Gypsum Powder

Heating produces a white powder from gypsum stone. This fine powder is smooth and is called gypsum powder. It is first crushed, heat-dried and then powdered.

1. Gypsum is applied as fertilizer.

2. Gypsum helps to prevents soil erosion, improves soil composition, helps water and air movement, and promotes growth of plant root.

3. Gypsum helps to balance micronutrients present in soil.

4. Gypsum powder has an important role in making drywalls.

5. Gypsum powder has application in the preparation of various types of tofu.

Applications of Gypsum in Agriculture

Interest in using gypsum as a management tool to improve crop yields and soil and water quality has recently increased. Flue gas desulfurization (FGD) gypsum, a by-product of cleaning sulfur from coal-fired power plants, has been widely available in major agricultural-producing regions over the past two decades. Currently, reports on the long-term sustainability of FGD gypsum use in agricultural systems is rare. Consequently, the American Society of Agronomy has produced a Community on “By-product Gypsum Uses in Agriculture” and a unique collection of technical research articles on FGD gypsum applications.

Gypsum has significant application for providing nutrients to plants and condition soil for agricultural production.

1. Gypsum gives nutrients to plants by providing sulphur and calcium. Calcium helps plants absorb nutrients through the roots, and sulphur helps to improve crop yield.

2. It can improve acid soils.

3. It uses in treating aluminium toxicity.

4. Adding lime or gypsum to dispersive soils decreases the sodium exchange percentage, reduces dispersion, and increases stable soil structure.

Gypsum in Construction

An overview of the origins, genesis, varieties, and properties of gypsum follows by a discussion of the most commonly produced material from gypsum, known in France as ‘plaster of Paris’. (β-semi-hydrate), in the USA under that of ‘calcined gypsum’, and in Germany under that of ‘Stuckgips’.

The article also describes in detail the properties of plaster paste (setting, expansion, adhesion) and those of hard plaster (strength, weight, thermal expansion, volume and linear changes under the influence of humidity fluctuations, absorption water, paintability, corrosion, thermal and acoustic insulation behaviour and fire resistance).

Sustainable benefits of gypsum products as a construction material

In recent years, interest has been growing in the use of gypsum as one of the most sustainable mineral binders. This chapter covers a range of gypsum products based on different modifications of gypsum binders.

The sustainability of gypsum products during their life cycle is considered. A sustainable life cycle includes the energy efficiency of different manufacturing technologies for gypsum products, the use of industrial wastes containing calcium sulphate dihydrate as substitutes for natural gypsum and the recycling of the wastes from gypsum-based construction materials (plasterboards, moulds) where they arise.

Sustainable uses of fgd Gypsum in Agricultural system

Interest in using gypsum as a management tool to improve crop yields and soil and water quality has recently increased. The abundant supply and availability of flue gas desulfurization (FGD) gypsum, a by-product of scrubbing sulfur from combustion gases at coal-fired power plants in major agricultural producing regions within the last two decades, has contributed to this interest.

  Sustainable uses of fgd gypsum in the agricultural system focus on three general areas:

  1. Mercury and other trace element impacts
  2. Water quality impacts
  3. Agronomic responses and soil physical changes

Sustainable agricultural production systems can benefit from the use of FGD gypsum. The environmental impacts of FGD gypsum are primarily positive, with only a few negative results observed, even when applied at rates representing cumulative 80-year applications. Thus, FGD gypsum, if adequately managed, represents an vital potential input into agricultural systems.

Gypsum for crop grain production

Gypsum s mainly used in tropical and subtropical agriculture when subsoil acidity is a crucial yield-limiting factor. However, the conditions that promote increased crop yield due to gypsum addition in no-till (NT) systems still need to be clarified. A field trial examined the effects of newly and previously surface-applied gypsum in a long-term NT system on the soil chemical properties, nutrition, and yield of corn, wheat, and soybean. 

Gypsum applies on surface at 0 and 6 Mg ha−1 in 2004 on plots that had received gypsum previously at 0, 3, 6, and 9 Mg ha−1 in 1998. Surface-applied gypsum newly and previously improved exchangeable Ca and SO4–S availability throughout the soil profile and increased the cumulative grain yield of the crops. The loss of exchangeable K through leaching by gypsum application was low. And more significant mobility of exchangeable Mg than exchangeable K in soil was found due to gypsum addition.

An increase in Ca content in the corn, wheat, and soybean leaves and S content in the corn and wheat leaves occurred following the gypsum application. The use of gypsum showed economic viability to maximize crop grain production in long-term NT soil with a sufficient level of exchangeable Calcium (≥8 mmolc dm−3) and low levels of exchangeable Aluminium (≤4 mmolc dm−3) and Aluminium saturation (≤15%) in the subsoil layers (20–60 cm).

The Use of gypsum spheres for water flow routes determination

Firstly, Gypsum or plaster of Paris has been cast into spheres and placed in soils. The weight loss determines the relative water flow routes. Theoretical considerations and laboratory experimentation show that solutional weight loss of the material increases with increasing water flow.But it is independent of pH above pH 4. It results for gypsum sphere weight loss presents for soils. The tensiometres are used for the independenr measurement of moisture conditions. The data recommends that the weight loss method provides a viable time-integrated demonstration of relative water flow routes.

Other Benefits of Gypsum

  • Uses of Gypsum Board

Gypsum board is also called plasterboard, drywall or wallboard. It contains a paper surface and a non-combustible core. These boards are easy to install, and it has distinguished fire resistance. It helps in sound isolation by prohibiting the transfer of unnecessary sound. Also Gypsum is cheap and has excellent durability.

It helps prevent cracks by performing as wadding in gypsum wallboard mixed compound. It also serves in the production of ornaments.

Supporting the life

Gypsum hels to purify still water by seperating the impurities. For example, adding gypsum to ponds, so the dirt particles settle down without harming the aquatic life.

 It helps in treating orthopaedic and surgical casts.

 Humans can consume it, and so it is present in food as additive ice cream, flour, blue cheese, white bread etc.

An Overview on Gypsum

Natural gypsum, also called calcium sulphate, is found in different forms, mainly as a dihydrate (CaSO4 · 2H2O) and anhydrite (CaSO4). They are products of partial or total evaporation of inland seas and lakes. Gypsum undergoes crystallization as translucent crystals of selenite, forming as an evaporite mineral and as a hydration form of anhydrite. Both the dihydrate and the anhydrite occur in nature in a variety of forms. The origin of gypsum, its genesis, varieties and properties are discussed, and the focus is then on the most common binding material produced from it, plaster of Paris.

Uses of Gypsum mainly depend on its paste-like setting, expansion, and adhesion properties. Whereas hardened gypsum for strength, bulk weight, thermal expansion, volume and linear changes under humidity fluctuations, moisture absorption, paintability, corrosivity, thermal and acoustic insulation behaviour, and fire resistance.

Gypsum has been studied as a raw material, as a rock constituent, as an indicator of geological and archaeological conditions, and from other points of view. However, its role in Earth’s surface processes, its relationship to life through calcium in the equilibrium of carbonates and its structural water molecules seems overlooked. The semi-solubility of gypsum explains its actions in many soils. Gypsum’s softness, fragility, and crystal water should be considered.

Types of Gypsum Crystals

Gypsum occurs in nature as flattened and often twinned crystals and transparent, cleavable masses. It is called selenite. Selenite contains no significant selenium; both substances were named after the ancient Greek word for the Moon. Selenite may also occur in a silky, fibrous form, commonly called “satin spar”. Finally, it may also be granular or quite compact. In hand-sized samples, it can be anywhere from transparent to opaque. 

A fine-grained white or a lightly tinted variety of gypsum, called alabaster. It prizes for ornamental work of various sorts. In arid areas, gypsum can be flower-like, typically opaque, with embedded sand grains called desert roses. It also forms some of the largest crystals found in nature, up to 12 m (39 ft) long, in the form of selenite.

Occurrence

Gypsum is a common mineral with very thick and extensive evaporite beds associated with sedimentary rocks. Gypsum deposition happens under lake and sea water, in hot springs, volcanic vapours, and sulfate solutions in veins. Hydrothermal anhydrite in veins commonly hydrates to gypsum by groundwater in near-surface exposures. It often associates with halite and sulfur minerals, and is the most usual sulfate mineral. Pure gypsum is white in colour, but other substances found as impurities may give various colours to local deposits.

Since gypsum dissolves over time in the water, it is very rare in the sand form. However, the particular properties of White Sands National Park in the United States of New Mexico have created a 710 km square expanse of white gypsum sand. 

Gypsum also form as a byproduct of sulfide oxidation, amidst others by pyrite oxidation, by the reaction of sulfuric acid and calcium carbonate. Its presence shows the oxidizing conditions. Under reducing conditions, the sulfates contains reduce back to sulfide by sulfate-reducing bacteria. This can lead to the deposition of elemental sulfur in oil-bearing forms, such as salt domes, where it undergoes mining using the Frasch process to produce bulk volume of gypsum from the scrubbers.

Occupational safety

People who exposed to gypsum in the workplace by inhaling it in, making skin contact, and eye contact. Although calcium sulfate is nontoxic and even approved as a food additive, powdered form can irritate the skin and mucous membranes.

Synthesis

Various industrial processes yield synthetic gypsum as a waste product or by-product.

Desulfurization

Flue gas desulfurization gypsum, or FGDG, forms at some coal-fired power plants. The primary contaminants come from the limestone used in desulfurization and the coal burned. It is pure enough to replace natural gypsum in various fields, including drywalls, water treatment, and cement set retarders. Improvements in flue gas desulfurization significantly reduce the presence of harmful elements in it.

Desalination

Gypsum precipitates on salted water membranes, a process known as mineral salt scalings. During brackish water desalination with high concentrations of calcium and sulfate. Scaling decreases membrane life and productivity. This is the main difficulty in brackish water membrane desalination mechanisms like reverse osmosis or nanofiltration. Depending on the water source, other forms of scaling, such as calcite scaling, can also be essential considerations in distillation and heat exchangers. Here, either the solubility of salt or concentration may change promptly.

A new study has proposed that gypsum formation as tiny crystals of a mineral known as bassanite (CaSO4·0.5H2O). This process occurs mainly through three stages:

  1. Nucleation of nanocrystalline bassanite in a homogeneous manner;
  2. self-assembly of bassanite into aggregates, and
  3. conversion of bassanite into gypsum.

Refinery waste

The formation of phosphate fertilizers needs breaking down calcium-containing phosphate rock with acid. It then produces calcium sulfate waste known as phosphogypsum (PG). This form of gypsum is polluted by impurities present in the rock, namely fluoride, silica, radioactive elements (radium), and heavy metal elements like cadmium. Similarly, the manufacturing of titanium dioxide yields titanium gypsum (TG) due to the neutralization of surplus acid with lime. The product is impure with silica, fluorides, organic matter, and alkalis.

In many cases, impurities in refinery gypsum waste have prevented them from being used as regular gypsum in fields like construction. As a result, waste gypsum is collected in stacks , with a significant risk of leaching the impurities into water and soil. To lower the accumulation and to clear out these problem, research is on the way to find more applications for such waste products.

  At Khaitan bio energy various new technologies are used for treating sugars, dewatering, and recycling using energy-efficient techniques, and these technologies are first in use cases in ethanol production. The process is monitored and managed with high-reliable devices and software. As is evident, we extract Gypsum too in addition to silica. This is a major breakthrough in establishing commercial viability for the technology and compete with ethanol produced from other sources.

Crystalline Silica

Where does crystalline silica come from?

Some examples of everyday crystalline silica-containing products include abrasive blasting materials, cement, bricks, mortars, plasters, patching materials for asphalt, caulking compounds, roofing materials, concrete construction products, such as concrete blocks and pavers, fill, and decorative stones. Silica formation happens during cutting, sawing, grinding, drilling, and crushing stones, rocks, concrete, bricks, blocks, and mortar. The respirable crystalline silica is much smaller than ordinary sand on beaches and playgrounds. For the complete combustion of rice husks after acid leaching, an air supplement of 50 mL/min or more was necessary to provide sufficient air. Silica materials with a purity of 99 wt% or more were prepared from rice husks using a variety of processes.

Worker exposure to crystalline silica dust occurs during harsh blasting with sand, sawing brick or concrete, drilling into concrete walls, and grinding mortar. Similarly manufacturing bricks, stone countertops, ceramic commodities, and cutting or crushing rock also release silica. Known sources of crystalline silica exposure include foundry sand and hydraulic fracturing (fracking). 

Crystalline silica and its Impacts on life

By breathing in crystalline silica dust, you can develop silicosis. Black lung disease and coal workers’ pneumoconiosis, due to dust inhalation, are other types of pneumoconiosis.

Silicosis starts with simple inflammation and then leads to pulmonary fibrosis. Silica exposure can affect the nose, throat, and lungs , which may cause coughing spells or shortness of breath.

The effects of crystalline silica dust on the respiratory system may leads to allergic sensitization.

Other health effects can cause lung cancer because of its highly radioactive properties. Exposure to silica has link with developing cancers like stomach cancer and other solid tumours.

 Crystalline silica products pose health risks.

Cristobalite products can cause extreme toxicity as they can easily penetrate bodily tissues and organs due to their acute toxicity. 

High exposure to crystalline silica dust results in acute health effects. Shortness of breath, irritation in the eyes and nose, throat infection and tiredness are some among them.

In extremely high concentrations, silica can cause asphyxiation by preventing oxygen from reaching vital organs. This is why silica dust threatens both environmental and human health.

Effects of Silica dust on Animal life 

Silica dust may affect respiratory tract problems in animals exposed to it. Silica particles are more likely to be ingested by cats, horses, cattle, and pigs since they often chew on objects.

Effects of Silica dust on plants and wildlife

Abrasion of leaves caused by crystallized silica dust reduces photosynthesis, decreases seed production, inhibits seedling growth, and increases resistance to diseases and pests. Soil impurification by silica can make it challenging for plants to grow, affecting the food chain since carnivores hunt prey that eats plants.

Plants may have difficulty absorbing nutrients if microbial activity in the soil is reduced. It affects plant growth by lowering photosynthesis, promoting disease, and inhibiting growth.

The long-term inhalation, ingestion, or absorption of crystallized silica dust significantly affects amphibians, resulting in their death. 

Effects of crystalline silica on the environment

Silica dust settles on plants, soil, rocks, and other surfaces nearby, so its effects are more excellent near the ground. Silica particles can also be spread by wind to a far distance from the initial source of contamination.

Crystalline silica dust has more significant toxicity to those species that live adjacent to the soil. Those species mainly include earthworms and small mammals. Due to its tendency to settle in coastal areas with highly contaminated soils, silica dust can also affect aquatic organisms.

Soil impurification by silica can make it challenging for plants to grow, affecting the food chain since carnivores hunt prey that eats plants. Crystalline silica dust damages insects, worms, and other tiny organisms too.

 What can be done to reduce the release of crystalline silica dust into the atmosphere?

We can reduce the environmental impact of crystalline silica dust by minimizing soil erosion, establishing wind barriers to lower emissions, planting vegetation buffers to absorb dust particles before they enter the atmosphere, applying binders to soils before construction, disposing of crystalline silica dust correctly, and eliminate plastic waste used during mining.

 

There is already a global supply squeeze on silica sand. Since the populations within the developing world continue to rapidly urbanize, the demand grow significantly every year. As supply sources dwindle, miners increasingly source silica sand from vulnerable ecosystems and waterways.

There are well-documented environmental impacts of silica sand mining in marine and riverine systems. It leads to erosion, salination of aquifers, loss of protection against storm surges, and impacts on biodiversity. These threaten livelihoods through adverse effects on water supply, food production, fisheries, and tourism.

With the rapid urbanization of the global population, it requires enormous volumes of sand per year to keep up with current demand. Concrete and glass for construction projects are not the only uses for silica sand, it also has a crucial role in the global decarbonization effort. For the high-tech glass of solar panels and bright screen technology needs high-purity silica sand with low iron content. During the next few decades, the demand for ultra-clear glass expects to grow exponentially as Asia-Pacific region mainly adopts solar panels.

Conclusion

In some circumstances and in some forms, silica can be detrimental to the environment, but it can also be beneficial. Despite of all harmful effects of crystalline silica by implementing advanced techniques silica has many applications paving roads, glass making, foundries etc. There are potentially hidden ecological costs associated with improper harvesting of silica.

In conclusion, silica is naturally found in our environment, and what makes it worse are the unforeseen environmental impacts of harvesting them.

Lignocellulosic biomass

 How lignocellulosic biomass support sustainability

One of the most abundant resources in this world is biomass. Biomass consists of three primary materials such as cellulose, hemicelluloses and lignin. Therefore, biomass can consider as a lignocellulosic material. Lignocellulosic biomass (LCB) has dormant supremacy in defeating the present/future energy dilemma. This is due to the steady exhaustion of non-renewable fossil fuels. Lignocellulose also helps generate a wide range of bio-based chemicals and biofuels as sustainable feedstock. In addition to being polymers of sugars, cellulose and hemicellulose are using for sugar fermentation or converting sugars into products. Lignin is a polymer compound which contains phenolic compounds. Rice husk/stubble is one of the biomass with a high order of lignin. It has unique characteristics because of its silica content.

Khaitan bio energy uses high efficient techniques for lignin and silica extraction. It is done during the lignin isolation process following enzymatic saccharification. The technology has been so as to establish an end to end process for a self sustained integrated biorefinery. Most importantly it focusses a “Zero discharge facility”. 

 Khaitan bioenergy estimates to produce that tons of bioethanol yearly from lignocellulosic biomass obtained from stubble residues alone.

Simple diagrammatic view of Biomass – Fuel Conversion

Lignin and silica as by product

Among various biomass sources, the stubble primarily consists of cellulose (35–45%), hemicellulose (20–25%). Whereas the presence of lignin is 15–20% along with a high amount of silica and ash (10–15 %). Looking forward the production purposes of the paddy field are increasing. This results in 1.1–1.3 times straw as agro-residue in the last years. Eventhough available at a large scale and a low-cost source, stubble is still underutilised due to the high presence of silica, making it chemically and biochemically resistant (indigestible b). This leads to piling up in landfills and burning the field, causing substantial air and soil pollution. 

In order o highlight the value of rice straw, converting it into high-value chemicals and fuels is an encouraging approach. However, the pretreatment of stubble is the bottleneck of the process to derange the unmanageable nature for bringing out sugar ompounds or other target chemicals. The method of acid hydrolysis is implemented in the pre treatment. Through this process, lignin and silica are simultaneously undergoes extraction to enhance holocellulose content and accessibility in the final product and produce selectively target chemicals.

The intricate nature of the composition of stubble is due to the rigid cell wall and the proximity of lignin and hemicellulose. Thus, holocellulose expects to disintegrate by chemical or biological pretreatments.This fantastic product of evolutionary developments has long shown potential as a highly sustainable and renewable source of fuels and materials.

The main use of Lignin for the manufacturing of biofuel or other useful compounds by two ways. Firstly by uncoupling lignin polymer from other cell wall polymers and secondly by exploiting the properties of lignin polymer for biofuel or for the production of other commercially useful products. Whereas Silica is widely used as a proppant. It holds open the fractures created by hydraulic fracturing allowing oil and gas to flow out of the formation.

Lignocellulose – A vital source to produce high-value marketable, and sustainable products.

Recently there has been a rise in research interest in the value or revaluation of lignocellulose-based materials due to increasing scientific knowledge, global economic and environmental awareness, legislative demands, and the manufacture, use, and removal of petrochemical-based by-products. The application of green technologies to extract and transform biomass-based carbohydrates, lignin, oils and other materials into a broader spectrum of marketable and value-added products with a zero-waste approach is a remarkable review.

Recognizing sources of biofuels such as biodiesel and biochar can reduce the environmental impacts of fossil fuels. Biofuels can also counter the raising demand of fossil resources and reduce reliance on non-renewable sources. However, it is essential to implement practical, scientific and robust tools to evaluate the exact advantages of using biofuels over conventional energy sources. Life cycle assessment has been identified as a comprehensive evaluation approach. This is to measure environmental impacts over the entire manufacturing chain of biofuels.

Bio-based economies have been the subject of significant research efforts. The main focus is to transform petroleum-based economies into socially acceptable, environmentally friendly, and comprehensively sustainable ones.

There is currently an intensive research effort in bio-refineries to develop sustainable and eco-efficient products to compete in the petroleum-based product market. Currently the energy reserves is becoming more and more difficult to access. Inorder to diversify the energy mix, Khaitan Bio energy operate in today’s most demanding environment enabling the transition to a more sustainable energy