Winter is here and for the population of Delhi, that means a lot more than just a decrease in temperature. With winter comes smog season, making it almost impossible to breathe normally and even leading to schools closing for days. Luckily, there are some innovations that can help revert the dangerous levels of air pollution in India.
The causes of pollution in India are many, from vehicles and industrial emissions to the burning of crops and fireworks during the festival of the Diwali. In summer, because of the heat, pollutants usually stay 5 to 6 kilometres above the ground, however, in winter, this range comes down to as low as 1 kilometre. This year, the situation seems to be even worse, in June, there was already more toxic smog than it could be measured in Delhi and reports from NASA say the situation is only worsening.
The government has been taking some measures to revert this situation, such as cracking down on polluting vehicles and closing down coal-fired power plants, but activists criticize it for lacking hard targets and clear compliance mechanisms.
There are lots of initiatives working to reduce the amount of pollution around the world and India, the global campaign Breathe Life UN released a tool to show just how polluted the air in specific regions is, and is working with governments to make an impact. Also, Let Me Breathe who are highlighting stories from the people who are affected by pollution. Of course, not forgetting our own Clean Air India initiative, which is giving innovators like the ones below a platform to test and scale their solutions.
1 – Graviky Labs
Graviky Labs were at the launch of Clean Air India in Delhi as supporters of the initiative. They produce Air Ink, the first ever ink to be made entirely out of pollution. They capture air pollution with Kaalink, their patent pending retrofit technology, that can be designed to fit diesel generators and other fossil fuel chimney stacks. It can also capture pollution from the ambient air and can be customized for all sizes and use-cases for outdoor pollution capture. That means that very soon we can be writing with ink made out of pollution!
2 – Blue Planet
Blue Planet solves the carbon capture problem by converting CO2 into high-value building materials. What differentiates Blue Planet from other carbon capture methods is that the captured CO2 does not require a purification step, which is an energy and capital intensive process. As a result Blue Planet’s capture method is more efficient, and results in a lower cost than traditional methods of CO2 capture.
Using this method, they produce lightweight coarse and fine aggregate, available for residential and commercial construction, sack concrete, roofing granules, high solar-reflective cool pigments, titanium oxide and many others.
3 – Project Exhale
Indoor air pollution accounted for 4.3 million deaths in 2012 and has been linked to a wide range of diseases in adults and children such as acute pneumonia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lung cancer, cardiovascular diseases and others. The main source of this type of pollution is smoke released from cooking on open fires and traditional stoves that use coal, wood and biomass fuels. In India alone, these practices are employed by approximately 700-800 million people.
Project Exhale is working alongside people living in slums to develop and provide access to improved cookstoves. They employ a participatory, context-oriented approach grounded in the realities of these urban, marginalized communities, in order to address the issues from the perspective of user needs, acceptability and sustainability of the project.
4 – Static Air
Fine dust can have a negative influence on the quality of life and life expectancy, the particles can penetrate into the lungs and be absorbed into the bloodstream, reducing lung and vascular functions, aggravating asthma and increasing blood pressure. StaticAir has developed an innovative technique to reduce particulate matter, that is effective in outside and inside environments.
5 – WeavAir
WeavAir offers advanced sensors & predictive analytics solution to save energy and reduce costs of high-value air distribution systems while improving air quality. Their algorithm detects, diagnoses and predicts issues before they become serious. The sensor modules make use of advanced sensor array technology to measure metrics and the devices are powered in part by renewable energy sources.
If you’re an innovator with a solution to improve air pollution, or a large business looking to make an impact by investing in them then you can join our Clean Air India movement.