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Low-carbon infrastructure is the future for our future

Mandar Kulkarni, Lead–Sustainability, Praj Industries Ltd

With four decades of extensive research, integration and product delivery experience, Praj is an internationally recognised company with a range of products that reduce emissions in all forms of mobility platforms. Mandar Kulkarni, Lead–Sustainability, Praj Industries Ltd makes the case for alternative materials that mitigate one’s carbon footprint.

Our daily routine and resource use are planned on the basic assumption of a stable climate. The assumption also makes us believe that the reality of climate change will occur someday in the future, and that the timeline is not known. Recent extreme weather events have proven that this assumption is wrong; not only resources but our routine is also vulnerable to climate change-related impacts.

Climate change is increasingly disrupting critical systems, increasing operating costs, and causing substantial spillover of infrastructural vulnerabilities to society at large.

Our infrastructural projects e.g. roads, railways, energy systems, water systems, rails, and buildings have borne the impact of this through asset damage, siltation, system failures and increased costs due to extreme weather conditions such as floods and heatwaves. Still, our infrastructural projects are being built on the basic assumption of a stable climate and resources. It is high time that we relook the processes by which we can reduce both businesses’ and society’s vulnerabilities to climate-related risks.

Climate-resistant solutions

These include bio-ethanol, biodiesel, sustainable aviation fuels, marine bio-fuels, bio-hydrogen and compressed biogas. Along with these, Praj has also introduced a range of renewable chemicals such as Butadiene, Bio-Bitumen, Lignosulfonate, and Bio-plastics.

Biobitumen and lignosulfonate will provide the infrastructure industry with an important base of material that will help in introducing low-carbon technology integrated with construction itself.

Bio-bitumen

It replaces the traditional bitumen which is used in asphalt roads as binding material. Traditional bitumen is made from crude oil and GHG emissions are associated with its manufacturing process, while biobitumen is a co-product of 2G-ethanol compressed biogas plants, which is an emission-free process. This brings the carbon intensity of road-making industries to its lowest. Samples made by Praj from rice and wheat straw are approved by Circular Based Bio Delta for scale-up on Dutch road strips.

Lignosulphonate

It enhances the property of lignin; again, components occurring in abundance naturally and treated as farm residue which are either thrown away or burnt. Lignosulfonates are powdery substances which when mixed with cement, increase its strength by allowing concrete to be made with substantially less water. These also have important applications as dust suppressants, and are highly reactive towards trace metal ions. Most importantly, lignosulfonate is proven to be non-corrosive, non-toxic and biodegradable.

Climate imperatives are key driving factors for emerging zero-emission technologies while adapting to the same is proven to enhance the performance of all industries, reduce the climate risks manifolds and contribute to a better world for everyone.

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