The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
To Fight Deadly Air Pollution, Indian Inventors Turn Diesel Soot Into Ink
India's struggles with air pollution are well-known. Just last week, the World Health Organization (WHO) published a report showing that two of the world's most polluted megacities—Delhi and Mumbai—are in India.
But a team of engineers have analyzed the problem and found a way to be part of the solution.
Their company, Chakr Innovation, now sells a device that captures 90 percent of the soot particles from diesel generators and sells them to manufacturers to make ink, Reuters reported May 2. It is the first ever device to capture emissions specifically from diesel generators, the company website claims.
For the three engineers who developed the device, Kushagra Srivastava, Arpit Dhupar and Prateek Sachan, fighting air pollution was a central goal of their project, and not just a happy byproduct of the profit motive.
"Chakr Innovation aims to create pioneering, sustainable and scalable technologies to combat the grave threat posed by pollution. Our mission is to develop and implement innovative solutions which can effectively control pollution—saving the natural environment and protecting people's health, " the company's mission statement reads.
Srivastava and Dhupar have first-hand experience with air pollution, having both grown up in Delhi. Dhupar told Reuters he has suffered from chronic respiratory problems since high school and has friends and family members who also suffer from respiratory ailments.
"My problem is, whenever I start to run out of air, the anxiety levels shoot up," he told Reuters.
Diesel generators are a particular health threat because they are used in major cities like Delhi when the power grid fails due to summer heatwaves.
"The alarming thing about diesel generators is they are located in the heart of densely populated areas. It's spitting smoke right there," Srivastava told Reuters.
Reuters pointed to a 2015 Health Effects Institute study that said air pollution killed 1.1 million people a year in India and that two percent of those deaths were due to diesel exhaust.
Chakr Innovation has now installed 50 devices in Chennai and the Delhi satellite city of Gurgaon and plans to install 50 more over the coming year. It has worked so far with government offices and firms, as well as real estate developers.
Srivastava, Dhupar and Sachan aren't the only Indian inventors to try and use their skills to tackle their country's air pollution woes. Inventing prodigy Angad Daryani is working on a tower that would filter pollutants from urban air.Reuters also cited the Bangalore-based Graviky Labs that obtains ink from diesel car exhaust. According to their website, they have cleaned 1.6 trillion liters (approximately 0.42 trillion gallons) of air since 2013.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
A middle-aged married couple in China was diagnosed with pneumonic plague, a highly infectious disease similar to bubonic plague, which ravaged Europe in the middle ages, as CNN reported.
Dairy aisles have exploded with milk and milk alternative options over the past few years, and choosing the healthiest milk isn't just about the fat content.
Whether you're looking beyond cow's milk for health reasons or dietary preferences or simply want to experiment with different options, you may wonder which type of milk is healthiest for you.
At least 1,688 dams across the U.S. are in such a hazardous condition that, if they fail, could force life-threatening floods on nearby homes, businesses, infrastructure or entire communities, according to an in-depth analysis of public records conducted by the the Associated Press.
By Sabrina Kessler
Far-reaching allegations about how a climate-sinning American multinational could shamelessly lie to the public about its wrongdoing mobilized a small group of New York students on a cold November morning. They stood in front of New York's Supreme Court last week to follow the unprecedented lawsuit against ExxonMobil.
By Alex Robinson
Leah Garcés used to hate poultry farmers.
The animal rights activist, who opposes factory farming, had an adversarial relationship with chicken farmers until around five years ago, when she sat down to listen to one. She met a poultry farmer called Craig Watts in rural North Carolina and learned that the problems stemming from factory farming extended beyond animal cruelty.
Temperatures plunged rapidly across the U.S. this week and around 70 percent of the population is expected to experience temperatures around freezing Wednesday.