Three IITians have developed a device that converts soot emitted from diesel generators to ink — fighting air pollution. On World Science Day for Peace and Development, they share their story.
Chakr Innovation, a start-up founded by Arpit Dhupar, Kushagra Srivastava and Prateek Sachan, aims at fighting pollution, head on. Their innovation, ‘Chakr Shield’, captures and converts soot emitted by diesel generators into ink pigments, which in turn is used for painting, textile printing, and paper printing.
The shield, when attached to the exhaust system of diesel generators, captures around 75 to 90 percent of particulate matter, a kind of air pollutant, which is also one of the main constituents of soot. “Along with controlling emission at the source, our technology also ensures that the collected particulate matter is not disposed-off or burnt but is used as a raw material for inks and paints,” says Kushagra Srivastava, CEO and co-founder.
Particulate matter is also the main health hazard compared to other polluting components. “We focused on developing the technology such that it had maximum efficiency but no impact on the engine itself. It took us two years of extensive research to reach the stage where we could capture more than 90% of particulate matter emissions without having any impact on the generator’s fuel efficiency,” Kushagra shares.
The team’s work is not always easy, but as Kushagra says, “No impact comes without facing and overcoming challenges. Being a hardware-based start-up, we required capital investment for research and production. However, as Chakr Shield is gaining momentum we are working towards improving our technology so that can be installed on furnaces and chimneys in big industries.” In their next stage of operations, the team hopes to expand their clientele.
They have till now installed over 30 shields in different sectors including telecom towers, FMCG players among others across Delhi NCR. The devices have been running successfully for over 12 months and in the process, have captured over 300 kg of particulate matter, which would have otherwise entered the atmosphere.
While their attempt of curbing pollution seems effective and innovative, Bharti Singhla, Head of Strategy, Chakr Innovation says, “Technology are universally recognised as drivers, along with education and investment towards solving developmental challenges. It is important to provide an eco-system that nurtures innovations such as ours.”