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CSIR develops environment-friendly firecrackers


ANI General News
In a bid to promote an environment-friendly Diwali, scientists at the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) have developed less-polluting firecrackers which are not only environment-friendly but also cheaper than the conventional ones.
"CSIR scientists have developed less-polluting firecrackers which are not only environment-friendly but 15-20 per cent cheaper than the conventional ones", Union Minister for Science and Technology Harsh Vardhan said at a conference here.
The crackers have been named Safe Water Releaser (SWAS), Safe Minimal Aluminium (SAFAL), and Safe Thermite Cracker (STAR), respectively.
As far as the crackers are concerned, they have a unique feature of releasing water vapour and air as a dust suppressant and diluent for gaseous emissions and matching performance compared with conventional crackers.
SWAS crackers eliminate the usage of Potassium nitrate (KNO3) and Sulphur with a consequent reduction in particulate matter (30-35 per cent) SO2 and NOx. On the other hand, STAR has the capability to eliminate the usage of KNO3 and S with a consequent reduction in particulate matter (35-40 per cent), SO2 and NOx.
The SAFAL variant of the firecracker has minimal usage of aluminium (only in flash powder for initiation) with a consequent significant reduction in particulate matter (35-40 per cent) compared to commercial crackers. Interestingly, all the crackers have a matching sound intensity with commercial crackers in the range of 105-110 decibel (dBA). The Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation (PESO) has also been approached to analyse and test these crackers from the point of view of safety, stability, and other related issues.
Highlighting that the Indian fireworks industry is over Rs. 6000-crore worth of annual turnover and provides employment opportunities to over 5 lakh families directly or indirectly, Harsh Vardhan further said that the CSIR aims at addressing the pollution concerns and also protect the livelihoods of those involved in this business. He also mentioned that many firecracker manufacturers have also taken keen interest with laboratories throughout the process.
Adding that a number of steps have been taken to make further improvements in the firecrackers, the Union Minister said, "This is for the first time in India, an emission testing Facility has been established at CSIR-NEERI and extensive testing is in progress for conventional and green crackers for monitoring the emissions and sound".
Among other environment-friendly crackers, the CSIR is also developing "E-crackers" and "E-Ladi". While the electronic crackers are developed to meet the latent social aspiration of enjoying fireworks, the E-Ladi is based on high-voltage electrostatic discharge to generate light/sound effect. It is triggered by providing heat to the thermal switch which will give the excitement of firing the conventional cracker.

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First Published: Oct 29 2018 | 6:38 PM IST

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