Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

To Fight Deadly Air Pollution, Indian Inventors Turn Diesel Soot Into Ink

Business

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.

A "trash tsunami" has washed ashore on the beaches of Honduras, endangering both wildlife and the local economy.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Long-finned pilot whales are seen during a 1998 stranding in Marion Bay in Tasmania, Australia. Auscape / Universal Images Group / Getty Images

More long-finned pilot whales were found stranded today on beaches in Tasmania, Australia. About 500 whales have become stranded, including at least 380 that have died, the AP reported. It is the largest mass stranding in Australia's recorded history.

Read More Show Less

Trending

A protest in solidarity with the Wetʼsuwetʼen's anti-pipeline struggle, at Canada House in Trafalgar Square on March 1, 2020 in London, England. More than 200 environmental groups had their Facebook accounts suspended days before an online solidarity protest. Ollie Millington / Getty Images

Facebook suspended more than 200 accounts belonging to environmental and Indigenous groups Saturday, casting doubt on the company's stated commitments to addressing the climate crisis.

Read More Show Less
The Västra Hamnen neighborhood in Malmö, Sweden, runs on renewable energy. Tomas Ottosson / Wikimedia Commons / CC by 3.0

By Harry Kretchmer

By 2030, almost a third of all the energy consumed in the European Union must come from renewable sources, according to binding targets agreed in 2018. Sweden is helping lead the way.

Read More Show Less
An Extinction Rebellion protester outside the Bank of England on Oct. 14, 2019 in London, England. John Keeble / Getty Images

By Jessica Corbett

In another win for climate campaigners, leaders of 12 major cities around the world — collectively home to about 36 million people — committed Tuesday to divesting from fossil fuel companies and investing in a green, just recovery from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Read More Show Less

Support Ecowatch