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Daily Current Affairs – 2020
Topic: For Prelims and Mains
18th Nov 2020
Why in News:
Union Minister of Science & Technology, Earth Sciences and Health & Family Welfare virtually inaugurated the Coal to Syngas Plant and Centre of Excellence for Strategic and Infrastructure Sectors; Centre of Excellence for Coal Gasification and also dedicated the Innovative technology for import substitution of coking coal to the nation.
What is Coal Gasification?
Coal gasification is the process of converting coal into synthesis gas (also called syngas), which is a mixture of hydrogen (H2), carbon monoxide (CO) and carbon dioxide (CO2).
The syngas can be used in a variety of applications such as in the production of electricity and making chemical products, such as fertilizers.
The coal gasification process holds good potential in the future, with coal being the most abundantly available fossil fuel across the world, and that even low-grade coal can be used in the process.
Why opt coal gasification?
Urea is currently produced using pooled natural gas, which comprises of both domestic natural gas and imported LNG.
The usage of locally available coal for making fertilizers would help reduce the import of LNG.
India currently imports 50 to 70 lakh tonnes of urea every year, and that the revival of the units would help increase the availability of domestically produced fertilizers.
Transporting gas is a lot cheaper than transporting coal.
Has greater efficiency than conventional coal-burning.
Concerns and challenges:
Coal gasification is one of the more water-intensive forms of energy production.
There are also concerns about water contamination, land subsidence and disposing of waste water safely
FACTS FOR PRELIMS
Copenhagen & Beijing+25:
Copenhagen & Beijing+25 signifies the World Conferences on Women (WCW) organised by the United Nations.
The United Nations has organized four world conferences on women.
These took place in Mexico City in 1975, Copenhagen in 1980, Nairobi in 1985 and Beijing in 1995.
2020 marks the 25th anniversary of the 4th World Conference on Women (WCW) and adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (1995). Hence, it is referred to as Beijing + 25.
Pakistan has recently signed a contract with a joint venture of a China Power (Chinese state-run firm) and the Frontier Works Organisation (FWO-a commercial arm of Pakistan’s military) for the construction of the Diamer-Bhasha dam.