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From crop stubble to something useful, INST has the solution to pollution

Published : Mar 3, 2020, 4:44 am IST
Updated : Mar 3, 2020, 4:44 am IST

Mohali-based nanoscience institute is working on ways to turn crop waste into bricks

Stubble burning is the source of much of the pollution in Delhi and Punjab. (PTI)
 Stubble burning is the source of much of the pollution in Delhi and Punjab. (PTI)

Bengaluru: Indiscriminate burning of paddy and sugarcane stubble has been contributing to global warming and putting Punjab and the National Capital Region under severe stress of pollution leading to shutting down of schools and cancellation of flights recently.

Fortunately, the Institute of Nano Science and Technology (INST) at Mohali, Punjab has hit upon a solution to trap the ash and convert it into construction bricks and solve pollution and global warming. The INST is in touch with the Punjab and Delhi governments to work out strategies to work with farmers to shift the stubble to their unit.

Speaking to Deccan Chronicle, Sujit Kumar Guchhait, Post Doctoral Research Fellow says, “Farmers have the habit of setting stubble on fire to clear their land for the next crop. Farmers have miserably failed to realize the impact of global warming and environment hazard due to discharge of smoke and carbon dioxide. So, what is the solution?

“The stubble must be collected and transported to a common place and but it in a closed chamber and absorb all the gases by using a particular solvent to capture and turn it into a byproduct — sodium carbonate. This is in high demand in industry and society,” he explains.

The sodium carbonate are used as ingredient in manufacturing of glass, processing of wood pulp to make paper, making of soaps and detergents. Further, it is also used for treatment of waste water from industries and municipal corporations, adds Mr. Guchhait.

Further, ash can also be used for manufacturing of construction bricks that can be utilized for construction purpose. However, the technology for brick making is to be fine tuned and it helps to provide bricks at competitive price in markets, he said.

INST has been in touch with Punjab and Delhi government with regard to shifting of stubble and to convince the farmers to transport it to a centralized place. If this is done successfully the problem of pollution and global warming can be tackled effectively, he added.

The innovation was displayed at the 11th edition of Bengaluru India Nano exhibition. Scientist Dr. Menaka Jha, is guiding researchers at INST.

Tags: institute of nano science and technology (inst), nanotechnology, ash bricks, stubble burning, punjab, delhi pollution
Location: India, Chandigarh, Chandigarh