Many methods are being researched and tested in a bid to reduce the world’s carbon emissions – however it’s possible that none are as peculiar as this. Researchers at The University of Calcutta are currently conducting tests to see whether egg shells could be used to reduce the effects of climate change.

Researchers have discovered that eggshell membranes can absorb almost seven times their weight in C02, making them an ideal sponge for absorbing harmful greenhouse gases. The thin membrane, found on the inside of eggshells, may not seem like the most likely or easiest substance to obtain, but the Calcutta team believe they have discovered a way of separating the membrane from the eggshell utilizing a weak acid.

While this method may seem impossible to implement on commerical level, the team is already working on a mechanical alternative. Lead researcher Basab Chaudhuri suggests that until salvaging an eggshell membrane  is commercially viable, people can still make a difference by simply leaving their eggshells out in the air for a while to absorb C02.

Thinking of how many eggs are consumed around the world –  India, for example accounts for about 1.6 million metric tons (or 2,305 pounds) of eggs annually all by themselves – if everyone was to leave their shells out after usage, they have the potential to absorb a considerable amount of Co2. With egg consumption expected to increase (global egg consumption is expected to reach about 1,154 billion eggs by 2015), the Indian team might have found an unlikely ally in the fight against emissions.

It is hoped that in the future, egg farmers will be to market egg membranes as a value-added byproduct, in addition to other plans encompassing using chicken waste as fertilizer and in biogas.

+ The University of Calcutta

via Clean Technica

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