With a global ecological disaster staring the world in the face, efforts to revert it have started with full force. ‘Green’ has become the colour of our times and eco-friendly measures are gradually seeping into our lives – green practises, green policies and of course, green technologies.
India is not lagging behind in this global initiative, with Indian innovators coming up with ground-breaking eco-friendly technologies. The following are a few of the many —
1. Mitti Cool — For years it has been known that water gets cooled when stored in a clay ‘matka’. Mansukhlal Prajapati of Gujrat utilised this knowledge and has come up with a refrigerator made entirely of clay! With a total capacity of 50 litres, it is has two portions — upper for storing water (upto 20 litres) and lower for fruits, vegetables, milk etc. The water in the tank keeps the temperature lower in the cabinet so that vegetables and fruits stay fresh for almost five days, while milk can be preserved for three days. It runs without electricity or any artificial energy, causes no pollution and is priced according to the Indian pocket — Rs.2000 only. ‘Cool’ you would say….
2. LOCUS — LOCUS or ‘Localised Operation of Bio-Cells Using Sewage’ is a dream energy resource made by a team of five people headed by Manoj K.Mandelia at IIT-Kharagpur. The product uses a single chambered microbial fuel cell (MFC is a bio-electrochemical system that drives a current by mimicking bacterial interactions found in nature), which can not only treat waste water but also produce electricity in the process. It is unique in the domains of environmental, economic and social sustainability. LOCUS is currently a lab-scale model at IIT Kharagpur, but once ready for commercial use it has the potential to solve the most pertinent problems — water and electricity.
3. Home Composter (Khamba) — Waste management is one of the easiest and most efficient ways of controlling pollution. But most people neither have the time nor the means to segregate and dispose of their waste properly. ‘Daily Dump’, an NGO has come up with a product called ‘Khamba’ which can be used to turn all our organic waste (vegetable peels, food, leaves etc.) into compost at home! It is made of two-three pots, placed on top of one another. These wastes are put in the pot on the top and keep passing to the lower pots through nets as they decompose. It requires hardly any care and can save our landfills from thousands of kilograms of waste every day. After all, clean is green…
4. Ecosan toilets — ‘Ecosan’ comes from ecological sanitation. It is an extremely advanced and modern way of toilet construction. It is a waterless sanitation system (barely requires 2-3 litres a day) which recovers nutrients from human excreta and returns it to the soil. It consists of two chambers, which are used in turn for defecation, and an outlet for urine. Faeces are stored in a tank and used later as manure. Being small and less cumbersome than other toilet constructions, it can be easily and cheaply constructed anywhere.
5. Generator Pollution Control Device – Virendra Kumar Sinha, a school dropout from Bihar has come up with a device that controls pollution from generators by removing carbon, soot etc from exhaust gases. Sinha’s device precipitates suspended particulates present in exhaust gases, making it clear and reducing its temperature. After many experiments, he developed this device to break down the exhaust components and reduce sound using an iron drum, perforated iron pipes, steel channels, baffles and a soot collecting tray. And it does not come as any expensive machinery; rather it can be used commercially with any generator/exhaust as an added accessory.
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