First Indian e-device to control smog is here

Designed by Chandigarh-based CSIO, machine to hit market in a month

First Indian e-device to control smog is here

Aditi Tandon

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 14

Indian scientists have developed country’s first electronically charged machine with proven potential to address lethal environmental pollution caused by dust and smog.

The “electrostatic dust mitigation and smog control device” designed and tested by the Chandigarh-based Central Scientific Instruments Organisation, a lab under the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, will hit the market in a month after the completion of transfer of technology to the industry.

Fighting pollutants with droplets 

  • The electronic ‘smog-control’ device works on the principle of

    storing electronically charged water droplets, which will get released once they come into contact with fine particulate matter.

The device works on the principle of storing electronically charged water droplets, which get released once they come into contact with fine particulate matter — PM2.5 and PM10 – and smog.

“The moment water drops touch pollutants they get released into the environment settling dust particles with their weight. This is the first time we have developed an electronic solution to the problem of environmental pollution.

So far only conventional methods are available in which you either create artificial rain to settle dust and smog or use water sprinklers. Both these methods are time-consuming, water-intensive and expensive. The new device consumes one-third water as against conventional devices; and is fast and affordable. Machines of several specifications have been developed depending on the scale of pollution to be addressed,” Surender Singh Saini, Head, Business Development, CSIO, told The Tribune today.

The government has transferred the technology to Yamunanagar-based Cloud Tech, which is already supplying conventional dust and smog mitigation solutions to some governments, including the Delhi Government.

The Ministry of Commerce is now looking at a national industrial scale up of the project given the increasing air pollution in India.

Seven in every 10 Indians are currently exposed to lethal air pollutants, says Indian Council of Medical Research. Air pollution killed 1.24 million Indians in 2017, which was 12.5 per cent of all deaths that year. Of total deaths from air pollution, 0.67 million were attributable to ambient particulate matter pollution, which the new CSIO device promises to contain.

A recent ICMR study found Delhi had the highest levels of PM2•5 in 2017 followed by Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Haryana. All these states had mean PM2.5 pollutant values greater than 125 µg/m³ as against the permissible 40 micro gram per cubic metre.

“The technology uses electrostatic field to generate charged spray droplets which combine with oppositely charged dust and smog particles and settle down onto the ground very efficiently and effectively,” said technology innovator Manoj Patel.

The device, developers said, could be used to tackle pollution on city roads, at construction sites, in coal mine fields and at industrial pollution sites.

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