The amount of greenhouse gases emitted due to various activities and the effect of these gases on the environment and climatic conditions on earth is measured as Carbon Footprint. Greenhouse gases are produced when fossil fuels are burnt in large quantities. This leads to the creation of Carbon Footprints, which may be primary carbon footprints or secondary carbon footprints. A primary carbon footprint results from the direct emission of CO2 into the atmosphere as a consequence of an individual’s activities such as driving a car or burning logs. A Secondary footprint is indirect emission i.e. the emission of gases by industries and factories which produce consumer goods and industrial goods.
The impact of greenhouse gases on the environment is huge and there is growing consciousness among industries about the need to use various methods to reduce their individual carbon footprints. There are a few simple ways that can be implemented to reduce the industrial carbon footprint.
Try to reduce or eliminate the usage of water treatment chemicals while treating industrial wastewater, as there is a close link between chemical water treatment and the size of carbon footprint created. Using biological filters is an option.
Industrial wastewater can be treated with immobilized bacteria before it is released into water bodies. This is especially beneficial in dyes, pharmaceutical, and heavy metal industries.
Settling chambers also known as, gravity collectors can be used to reduce the particulate matter in industrial exhaust air before releasing it into the larger atmosphere. These chambers can be used in metal refining industries, and heating and power plants where large particles such as arsenic trioxide and carbon particles can be collected.
Sort and recycle construction waste and demolition debris before discarding them in landfills.
Materials recycling, use of less CO2 intensive processes like near-net-shape casting in the manufacture of steel can reduce the carbon footprint.
Developing clinker substitutes like blast furnace slag, steel slag or fly ash for the cement industry will reduce CO2 emissions drastically from the process of cement manufacture.
Opt for fuel with lower sulfur content as it helps reduce the greenhouse gases emitted.
Bio fuels and bio-based polymers for the textile industry contribute greatly towards reducing the carbon footprint.
Plant as many trees as possible within industrial premises and promote a greener environment.
The steel and automobile industry can help reduce even primary carbon footprint by using lightweight metals in the manufacture of cars and other transportation systems.
One of the best ways to reduce carbon footprint would be to estimate the total energy expenditure incurred. An energy audit can help to calculate the carbon footprint, which in turn can help search for ways to reduce the energy usage.