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September 16 is international Ozone Day and during the auspicious day of this year, Environment Ministry has introduced a noble initiative to minimize the impact of contaminations on the Ozone layer. Ministry of Environment has launched a research and development initiative to minimize the impact of refrigerants on the ozone layer. While celebrating the International Ozone day, the Ministry of Environment announced an innovative work activity to minimize the effect of refrigerants on the ozone layer and propelled to develop next-gen refrigeration against the standard HFCs.

In the official statement, Environmental Ministry said that this R&D activity is a determined collaborative research and development program which is intended to develop next generation with sustainable refrigerant technologies which will work as the replacement of HFCs.

Some of the key players of the initiative include
• The Council of Scientific & Industrial Research and its allied institutions
• Department of Science and Technology
• Centre for Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences as well as key industry players in the sector

Members of this initiative have already had multiple rounds of consultation to reach a consensus on the contours and decide on the roadmap for this 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 countries. 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, therefore essential.

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The initiative is a significant step forward in line with India’s national focus on research, innovation and technology development and Mission Innovation. The research initiative of the Ministry will be led by the CSIR’s Indian Institute of Chemical Technology, Hyderabad.
The MoEF&CC, along with the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) has also 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 shall help the country leapfrog from the current technology high GWP HydroFluoroCarbons or HFCs to technologies with lower climate impact.

The proposed initiative is an important step in the direction of enabling the country achieves national development goals, while continuing to maintain a sustainable environmental footprint.

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Peace-lover, creative, smart and intelligent. Prapti is a foodie, music buff and a travelholic. After leaving a top-notch full time corporate job, she now works as an Online Editor for Biotecnika. Keen on making a mark in the scientific publishing industry, she strives to find a work-life balance. Follow her for more updates!