IIT grad Ravi Saroj and Vijay Setia, former president of All India Rice Exporters Association (AIREA), have developed a machine that is capable of reducing levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) and sulphur dioxide (SO2) from industrial gas emissions.
The machine is the brainchild of the two and following two years of rigorous research and testing, finally proved its efficacy in an industrial setting.
A vision to curb air pollution
The World Air Quality Report 2021 had named Delhi as the most polluted capital in the world, a position it had been claiming for the previous three years. This was cited as being harmful to the population in the national capital, as people were breathing the toxic air.
When Ravi Saroj, from IIT Kharagpur, met Vijay Setia, now the Managing Director of Chaman Lal Setia Exports Ltd, the latter shared his knowledge of how air pollution is caused due to the burning of agricultural residues. He added how this affects the foetus in the womb. Ravi, who is from Delhi, was well aware of the harmful effects of air pollution in the national capital and was intrigued by Mr Setia’s insights. It fuelled in him a desire to do something about it.
“I got a lot of exposure while working with the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE). It boosted my knowledge of the environment along with that of food processing. During my journey at the FICCI Research and Analysis Centre (FRAC), I polished these analytical skills of mine. The skillset I had developed prepared me for the role of Head of Research and Development, Chaman Lal Setia Exports Ltd,” says Ravi.
Along with a few other members on the team from GNIT and IIT Delhi, Ravi and Mr Setia began working on various projects, one of which was the machine to absorb hazardous gases from industrial emissions.
The working of the machine
Various industrial processes lead to harmful emissions, which further cause the temperatures of the surroundings to rise. The device designed by Mr Setia and Ravi resolves two problems, one being the release of hazardous gases in the atmosphere and the second being an alternative to natural gas as a fuel in boilers.
The machine operates on the principle of absorption. A filter is designed with natural absorbent properties of a special material within it. This low-cost system is then used at the outlet, wherein flue gases are released from industries. When the flue gas (containing SO2, NO2 and CO2) passes over the device, due to the absorbent properties of the filter, carbon, etc. are caught and prevented from entering the atmosphere and contributing to the greenhouse effect.
“The filter traps CO2 entirely and eliminates NO2 and SO2, which then act as additives and are added to the boiler and aid the combustion process. This results in improved fuel efficiency, while also increasing the boiler efficiency. It also reduces temperature by 70 per cent in comparison to a normal operating stack. It is a zero-waste process.”
The device has been tried and tested at the industrial level. Ravi says that the results of the testing with eight ton per hour boilers were amazing and encouraging.
Speaking about how this technology is different from the other alternatives in the market that operate on the same principle, Ravi says that theirs is not a separate system that needs to be installed separately. “It acts as an inbuilt component which is a part of furnace assembly. It is specially modified and loaded with special adsorbent material to do the job. Secondly, there are no consumable costs in it. The device can be reused.”
All funds for testing and researching were received from Chaman Lal Setia Exports Ltd. From a small scale innovation, they went on to convert the process to an industrial scale unit.
A sight of hope for modern cities
The testing has been carried out on agro-fuel and biofuel. Industries that use agricultural waste as fuel, usually have emissions that consist of these toxic gases such as NO2, SO2 etc. Having the machine absorb these gases, and then use these as additives to aid the process, improves the cycle. The carbon footprint is zero, compared to if natural gas was used to fuel the boiler.
“We can surely say that this has the potential to change the scenario of Delhi NCR and other cities,” says Ravi.
After having spent several months in the testing, the duo are now in the process of filing for a patent. “The device has been used in one industry and showed 100% elimination of emissions,” adds Ravi
“Once we get the patent, we will look for companies and partners so that we can scale this technology and solve the problem of pollution and global warming.”
They see this innovation as a solution that our world needs to prevent global warming.
Edited by Yoshita Rao