Sludge formation due to silt deposition on lakes and ponds is a nuisance not just to the ecosystem in water bodies, but also comes with repercussions to the environment. Silt, which consists of fine particles, merges with the organic matter in water bodies, producing harmful coagulants.
Mohsin Ali Khan, a civil engineer, and his team, all of whom are former students of CMR Institute of Technology in Bengaluru, have created bricks with sludge, using a new geopolymer technology that is environment-friendly. These bricks are also one and a half times stronger than their conventional counterparts.
With proper implementation, the cost of these eco-friendly bricks can be reduced to almost half of what the regular bricks are.
The team designed the innovation with the help of professors from their alma mater. Prof Phani Kumar Pullela, the head of innovation and entrepreneurship cell at CMRIT, guided them, while Prof Karthik NM (Civil Engineering Department) and Prof Srinivas Reddy (Mechanical Engineering Department) are the project mentors, and also members of the team.
The team had been researching and experimenting using geo-polymer technology as a part of their final year project in the institute.
Currently, the team, consisting of Mohsin, Gowtham Reddy B, Sharath Kumara Devraju, Vinay Kumar Mansali and Mulla Parvez Ahamed, has registered for three patents—sewage sludge bricks, ornamental bricks and cementless bricks. They have also registered a startup named ‘CO3 Structural Systems’ which has been recognised by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), Government of India.
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Speaking to the Deccan Chronicle, Prof Pullela said “The team identified the problem at the Bellandur lake and collected silt from the site which was treated and used for their experiments. As research progressed, their hard work helped them find patentable ideas. They have developed something which is dangerous for nature into something that is environment-friendly, and that needs to be appreciated.”
With a second project which utilises mine dust for innovative solutions, in the pipeline, the team is hoping to set up brick factory soon near the city.
“The company has signed an MoU with CMRIT and CMR University to help us further our research using the laboratory facilities and mentoring from the subject experts,” sums up Mohsin. The team and their startup promise to be a gamechanger in the field of innovation!
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