Black Carbon Levels in Himalayan Glaciers and Biomethanation

The Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology (WIHG) conducted study near Gangotri Glacier in 2016. According to the study, the black carbon concentration in the region has increased by 400 times.

Highlights

The increase in carbon concentration in the region is mainly because of agricultural burning and forest fire. The concentration of black carbon was found to be minimum in August and maximum in May.

What is Black Carbon?

Black Carbon are fine particles of carbon that are formed due to incomplete combustion of fossil fuels and biomass. These particles are capable of absorbing energy from the sun (light) a million times more than that of carbon dioxide. However, black carbon are short lived unlike carbon dioxide.

They increase current level of global warming mainly due to their light absorbing characteristics.

Biomethanation

The Government of India has taken the technology of Biomethanation as a solution for stubble burning. Quality manure and biogas are obtained from bio-methanation process. Six biomethanation plants are to be constructed in Punjab that will convert paddy straw into bio-gas.

Biomethanation is a process by which organic materials are microbiologically converted into biogas in anaerobic conditions. Anaerobic condition is an environment without oxygen.

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