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Global warming, air pollution and other problems related to the emission of Co2 (carbon dioxide) may partially get solved as a group of five scientists from four institutes have discovered a low cost method of converting carbon dioxide into calcium carbonate (CaCo3), a useful building material. The discovery is a result of a research of over three years.

Calcium carbonate, usually found in rocky materials such as chalk or limestone, can fetch minerals of economic value. The Rs 98.6 lakh ($202,798) project uses seven bacteria enzymes for the conversion process.

The scientists have discovered naturally occurring bacteria that can be used to convert Co2 into CaCo3, that can be used in cement or limestone aggregate for building roads. When used as an enzyme, biomolecules that speed up the chemical reaction, the bacteria converts carbon dioxide onto calcium carbonate. 

The project has been sponsored by the department of biotechnology (DBT) under the Union science and technology ministry. The chemical reaction can be implemented in places such as inside a factory chimney.

The chemical reactions involved in the process have been successfully established while its economic viability, cloning, expression and single-step purification are under study. The team's findings have been published in the Indian Journal of Microbiology and its paper has been accepted for publication in the World Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology.

Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas (GHG) produced during the burning of fossil fuels and other industrial activities. Emission of carbon dioxide contributes significantly to the issue of global warming.

Post Kyoto Protocol, India has emerged as a huge market for carbon credits. For each ton of carbon dioxide emission emmission reduced, an equivalent CER (Certified Emission Reduction) is certified, that could be bought  by compliant buyer in Europe to offset their responsibility.This development can also unleash such trends.

Hence, control of emission of Co2 becomes instrumental in fighting global warming and the resultant climatic changes.

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