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China moves to limit nitrous oxide emissions China moves to limit nitrous oxide emissions
Chinese chemical and gas company, Linggas, has started to capture and re-use nitrous oxide during nylon production using new technology. The greenhouse gas is... China moves to limit nitrous oxide emissions

Chinese chemical and gas company, Linggas, has started to capture and re-use nitrous oxide during nylon production using new technology. The greenhouse gas is 300 times more harmful to the ozone layer than carbon dioxide.

The Beijing-based industrial giant, which sells industrial gases used in electronics, recently took strides towards becoming climate-neutral, something Chinese president Xi Jinping vowed the nation would do by 2060.

The gas firm said it started capturing and recycling the colourless, non-flammable gas in mid-September from the Henan Shenma Nylon Chemical Company. Linggas is capturing and reusing the gas at a rate of 6 000 tons per year.

Chemical plants that manufacture adipic acid, a core component of nylon production, are responsible for gases leeching into the atmosphere. Nitrous oxide, also known as ‘laughing gas’, is commonly used by dentists, and it is also a harmful by-product of the nylon manufacturing process. Since it was first introduced to the world in 1935, nylon has been a versatile textile, used everywhere from footwear to car fabrication.

Adipic acid production in China releases the same amount of harmful greenhouse gases as 25 million automobiles – more cars than Shanghai, California and Beijing combined, says a report by InsideClimate.

Eliminating 6 000 tons of nitrous oxide from the atmosphere every year would have the same effect as permanently removing up to 400 000 motor vehicles from the global road network, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s greenhouse emission calculator.

Geng Xue, sales manager at Linggas, said the new technology would benefit the environment and lower the cost of laughing gas in the dental industry, where it is used as a general sedative.

Geng said the company would soon open two more gas capture and re-use facilities. Suzhou Jinghong Gas and Chonqing-based HuafonHuafon Chemical Company can add an extra 3 000 and 20 000 tons of capacity respectively. The combined 29 000 tons of gas to be captured is the equivalent of 1.9 million cars being taken off the roads.

It remains unclear whether the three plants will run at maximum capacity as demand for the gas in China is limited, but is growing at around 10 000 tons per year for use in LCD television monitors and other industrial applications.

China currently does not regulate nitrous oxide emissions. Projections made by the World Resources Institute see China reaching zero emissions of the noxious gas by the end of 2030.

https://insideclimatenews.org/news/01102020/china-super-pollutants-nitrous-oxide-Linggas-Henan-Shenma

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