Pollution levels are soaring in India. From the air of Delhi to the water of Ganga, the country is reeling under pollution. Awareness programmes are being organised. The government is also implementing policies aimed at pollution control. The role of technology and innovation in controlling pollution is increasingly being explored. Five innovations aimed at pollution control in India are spotlighted here.
Highways made out of plastic: Plastic forms one of the toughest pollution challenges. India is producing around 60% of the total plastic waste in the world. Plastic is not biodegradable. Dr. Rajagopalan Vasudevan, Professor of Chemistry, Thiagarajar College of Engineering, Madurai, has invented a technique that uses excess plastic waste for road laying. In this process, plastic is added to stones used for building roads at around 170 degree Celsius. Around one tonne of plastic waste is utilised for covering one kilometre. It is a cheaper and stronger replacement for cement blocks. This has been used for building roads in over 11 Indian states.
Diesel exhaust to ink: A study conducted by World Health Organisation (WHO) has concluded that 14 of the 20 most air polluted cities in the world are in India. Graviky Labs, a Bengaluru-based company, has invented a device, which captures carbon emission before it is released from vehicles or generators. The device is fitted in tailpipes of vehicles or generators and conveniently converts the emission into ink. The invention has been named Air Ink.
Nasal filters: A team of former IIT students and their professors have invented a nasal filter that filters the air we breathe. Prateek Sharma, Tushar Vyas, and Jatin Kevlan along with their professors, Manjeet Jassal and Ashwini K. Agrawal came up with this solution. Known as nasofilters, the filter is about two centimetres in size and can be placed within the nose and doesn’t restrict breathing. The filters are for one time use and are economically priced. The innovation received the ‘Start-up National Award 2017.’ The filters can be bought from the official website of the company and are priced at Rs. 98.2, for a pack of 10.
Robot for water pollution: Ro-Boat, a device invented by Omnipresent Robot Tech Pvt. Ltd., is designed to collect sludge and pollutants in rivers and water bodies. It floats through water and with the help of its robotic arms it can collect sludge and other pollutants. The device operates on solar energy, has a pan-tilt zoom camera and fog lights. The light allows the device to work underwater and in adverse weather conditions. It can submerge in water and pull out pollutants from the riverbed. It can segregate around 600 kgs of waste from water in a time span of 12 hours.
Water filter for arsenic and iron contamination: The groundwater in various districts of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, and Nagaland is highly contaminated with arsenic. The high level of arsenic contamination is becoming a persistent problem for the Brahmaputra River. To deal with this, researchers Robin Kumar Dutta, S. Bordoloi, A. J. Bora, S. Nath, and Sweety Gogoi invented a low cost technology to eliminate arsenic and iron from contaminated water sources. This can be done for less than one paisa per litre. More than 75 schools and various households in Assam have started using this technology for filtering water from various sources.