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Shielding your hearing ability, the greener way.

The ten-day long Ganesh festivities have just come to an end, and as the Central government has amended earlier this month the Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000 with a notified change that an area shall not fall under silence zone category unless it is notified by state government as a silence zone. The process being too slow it’s been a month since the amendment and many regions are still due to the notification. Though there was a significant decrease in the number of DJ’s used this year, many well-known cities registered the noisiest Ganeshotsav ever. Remarkably all the Talims (groups) in Pune have promised to establish the tradition of setting up the decorations with Ganpati Idol made up of Shadu (Natural Clay). As India shelters a huge variety of festivals, before reviewing the previous one we have a new festival to address or to prepare for. Navratri being aligned next in the list cities like Mumbai, Surat, Bhopal and many others become immersed in the cacophony of the festival’s health-threatening decibel levels. Using ear plugs, closing all the doors and windows, reducing the indoor noise, etc are some of the common ways of shielding our hearing ability. Along with which the recent and advanced studies in botany have reassured the use of small tress for attenuating the sound levels around us. Planting trees on the window sill, galleries and area surrounding the building can help in reducing the sound levels. Mavalingam, Punnai, Hibiscus Tiliaceus, Pamburus Missionis and Eerkolli are some of the species that are strongly recommended by botanists. The result of this solution won’t be very effective this year but while the government is busy in implementing the amendments we can help in making the festivals more peaceful and green in the years to come.




Technology that cleans-up oil and pollutants

As a kid, did you have a lesson about a separating funnel? An instrumentthat separates the immiscible layers of water and oil. How cool would it be if there was such a method which could clean up the oil spills and chemical leakages which degrade the environment?In this era of research and technology, inventions, experiments, and whatnot, the researchers at the University of Purdue have managed something akin to a separating funnel: they’ve developed a technology which would clean up oil and other pollutants out of the water. This was achieved by modifyingmelamine sponges by dipping them in a hexane solvent and a small solution of silicon rubber called PDMS. This material is hydrophobic and superoleophilic, which means that it will absorb oil while rejecting water. The researchers have demonstrated that this technology can absorb pollutants such as hydrocarbons, coolants, carcinogenic compounds called PCB and other pesticides as well. What’s amazing is that where conventional methods are expensive and energy-consuming, this method is the opposite of it.




Floorings to electricity

Floorings to electricityAre you thinking – oh my, what new invention is this? Read on to find out the how, the who, and what.Material engineers – Associate Professor Wang and his team – at the University of Washington, Madison have developed a method that allows them to convert footsteps into usable electricity.Floorings can be made from any number of sustainable materials; one of them is wood pulp, an often used common component of floorings. The pulp, which is waste material too, is partly made up of cellulose nanofibers. These tiny fibers produce and electrical charge when they are chemically treated and come in contact with untreated nanofibers. They can be used to power lights or even charge batteries when embedded within floorings.Still, why floorings? Wang’s team has focused on a research field as called ‘roadside energy harvesting’. The concept behind his researchs is to avail energy through places where is an abundance of human activities. The ground would be one such place where this is a maximum of renewable energy potential. Traffic floors in hallways and places like stadiums and malls would produce significantamounts of energy on the incorporation of this technology.An advantage of this method is that since wood pulp is a cheap, abundant and renewable waste product of several industries, flooring that incorporates this new technology could be as affordable as conventional products.Wang’s research revolves around vibrations to produce electricity. For years he has been testing different materials in an effort to magnify the merits of Triboelectric nanogenerators (TENGs) – the same phenomenon that produces static electricity on clothing. Each functional portion inside such flooring has two differently charged materials – including the cellulose nanofibers and would be a millimeter or less thick. The floor could include several layers of the functional unit for higher energy output. Based on their affinity, the electrons will move from one place to another when these two materials are put together. The electron transfer creates a charge imbalance that naturally wants to right itself, but as the electrons return, they pass through an electric circuit. The energy that this process creates is the end result of TENGs.




Electricity generation without using energy!

A team of scientists led by Dr. R.K Kotnala from Delhi’s National Physical Laboratory (NCL) has developed a method which generates electricity using hydroelectric cell without using any power or chemicals.The scientists used zinc and silver electrodes at room temperature to make a cell, and nanoporous magnesium ferrite to split water into OH⁻ and H₃O⁺ ions. Since Magnesium as high affinity for OH⁻, it spontaneously splits water. The H₃O⁺ ions get trapped inside the nanopores of magnesium ferrite and generate an electric field. This electric field further helps in dissociation of water. To enhance the activity of magnesium ferrite even more, around 12% of magnesium is replaced with lithium thus increasing the sensitivity of magnesium ferrite. By doing this at room temperature, the electrons get trapped in the oxygen-deficient sites.The magnesium ferrite-produced hydroelectric cell with a size of asquare inch can produce a current of 8mA and 0.98V. When these 4 cells are connected in series the voltage increases to 3.70V, which can operate a small plastic fan or a LED of 1 Watt.




Farms in deserts using sunshine and seawater

You read it right! Sundrop farms, a South Australian company is behind this clever technique of growing a 15,000 yield of tomatoes, that too in a desert. No soil, no pesticides, ground water or fossil fuels. How is this possible?The plants are grown in coconut husks instead of soil and for water. The seawater is piped 5.5km from the Spencer Gulf to Sundrop – a 20 hectare site in the arid Port Augusta region. The seawater is desalinated with a solar powdered plant which removes salt, creating enough fresh water to irrigate 180,000 tomato plants in the greenhouse. There is no need for pesticides as well because the seawater cleans and sterilizes the air. But it’s still a desert right? Hot and dry conditions are countered by lining the greenhouse with seawater-soaked cardboard to keep the plants cool enough to stay healthy, and in the winters, where there is a shortage of sunlight, a solar heating device keeps the greenhouse warm, and there is a provision of a back-up grid if needed.How is this solar power generated? Thanks to 2300 mirrors that reflect sunlight towards a 127 meter high receiver tower. Up to 39 megawatts of energy can be produced on a good day, meeting the electricity and green house requirements. Though this project is expensive to erect than most conventional greenhouses, in the long-run, it would prove to be much more efficient. On an annual basis, conventional greenhouses are costlier to run because they run on fossil fuels.




Human-hair derived cathode!

In today’s world where human beings are on the hunt for cleaner and efficient technologies, the researchers of IISER Kolkata have achieved something just that. Solar cell cathodes derived from human hair. How,you ask? It’s pretty quick and simple: the hair is first cleaned and dried and then treated with Sulphuric acid to achieve pre-carbonization. Afterward, it is heated to different temperatures in the presence of an inert gas for 6 hours to carbonize and bring better electrical conductivity for efficient charge transfer. Highly catalytic graphitic porous carbon stage is achieved by this green cathode at an optimum temperature of 850 ͦC. It is the first time that a bio-waste derived electrode has been used as a cathode in a quantum dot sensitized solar cell device. Such a technology has tremendous potential to reduce the costs on solar cells. Competent as it is in functioning, it is also inexpensive, with a higher efficiency to convert sunlight into electricity. Who knew that something as fine as human hair can have such a contribution to cleaner technology.




Technology for clean drinking water

An environment-friendly technology engineered by researcher David Bowell of the University of Cincinnati uses light to generate hydrogen peroxide to eliminate E.Coli, Listeria and potentially protozoa like giardia and cryptosporidium.
This protein photocatalyst so named as StrepMiniSog, if mass produced, could be used to safely spike public drinking water supply in the event of an outbreak. The protein has been designed to attach to the pathogen of interest using antibodies, so that when the attached photocatalyst is exposed to light, it produces hydrogen peroxide which will kill the pathogen.

Figure : Graphic illustrates the process by which David Wendell's protein-based photocatalyst uses light to generate hydrogen peroxide to kill bacteria and viruses in water. Source: David Wendell/Sciencedaily.com


Bowell says that this technology neutralizes viruses and bacteria in water without the production of contaminants like disinfection by-products or antibodies which could harm the environment. Furthermore, it could also be used as a disinfectant usable on human skin as well. In todays word where clean drinking water is not available to all, a technology like this could help quench the thirst of thousands of mouths.




Batteries powdered by Sugarcane waste?

You read it right! Researchers in Pune have been developing a technology that will enable the carbon found in sugarcane waste to be used in batteries. Ingenious!

How did they do this? Overnight carbonization of mixed bagasse and concentrated sulphuric acid was done at room temperature which dissolved most of the inorganic impurities except silica, helping to form a robust carbon double bond backbone structure. The solid obtained was thoroughly washed and oven-dried at 70 degree Celsius. Potassium Hydroxide (KOH) was later mixed to form slurry. A simple kitchen microwave oven was used to heat this slurry for graphitization and pores were formed when KOH reacted with the carbon.

This process will lessen the time to get anode-grade carbon very much, and also to reduce electrical energy input substantially. Good quality carbon and battery performance is achieved by this technique, carving a niche in the competitive market and also reducing electrical energy input significantly.




RECYCLED FUEL FOR RETURN MARS JOURNEY

A new technology can be used to power a return-trip to Mars using fuel made up of recycled space junk. How amazing is that?Researchers have been working on this revolutionizing technology which will involve use of components available in commercial markets and alloys which are not expensive as well, putting a competitive pricing with other ion drives in the market. The system, through a demonstration, has not only proved its efficiency, but also suggested that Magnesium, which is a common component in space junk, could be reused to fuel the engines in space. Patrick Neumann of Neumann space has said that with this system can solve many issues in space propulsion, allowing small space vehicles to do more with less. Recycling space junk for fuel would mean a huge advantage in energy and cost savings. With scientific credentials established, Professor Bilek from the University of Sydney hopes that success in market would soon follow.Laboratory tests have shown that with more than 11,000 seconds of specific impulse, it is possible to send missions to Mars and perform experiments in Mar’s orbit and return the spacecraft back to Earth without the need to refuel the spacecraft.




New technology for safer crops!

In a country like India, where there is a great dependency on agriculture and demand to product good quality crops, the Bayer Group of India has inaugurated a new global formulation technology laboratory in Vapi, Gujarat which aims at provision of high yield seeds, effective and safe crop protection solutions and services for farmers to secure their crops and incomes. This new laboratory will focus on developing seed treatments, herbicides, fungicides, and insecticides for local demand of small-holder farmers, and also for regional and global demand. Also, it will provide the employees of the company to demonstrate their technical and scientific skills.A little overview of the company: Bayer Vapi is a core manufacturing site for Bayer globally, employing close to 1300 people. The site is engaged in manufacturing of active ingredients which are used in a wide array of products for modern agriculture practices, professional pest management and animal health.




Rain Rain come again!!



Rains bring in a feeling of peace, happiness and refreshment but the constantly changing global weather scenario is killing the essence of every season. We have unpredictable rains, heat and colds. Global warming and climate change is successfully ruining our beliefs about Mother Nature. The temperature is rising day by day, activities like deforestation is causing impacting carbon emissions eventually changing the climate, species are getting extinct along with natural disasters like hurricanes, droughts and coral deaths occurring everywhere.
But, amidst all these environmental turmoil we still enjoy the little pleasures of nature. Rainy season is upon us. On one hand where we crib about the untimeliness of it, on the other we should cherish and put in our efforts to save it. Yes, saving the rains! Like we always say all the answers are in the environment, the rain itself is the answer for water scarcity and droughts. So, lets a look at some simple and sustainable things that we can do this rainy season

Rainwater Rooftop Harvesting



Rainwater Rooftop Harvesting is nothing but catching the rainwater and storing it in underground or above ground storage tanks for later use. It's a simple mechanism with simple solution. It is possible in almost any climate and rainwater generally meets drinking water quality standards, if system is well-designed and maintained. People living in independent houses with enough space surrounding it can easily install this system and put the saved water to some good use.

Small storage units

If Rainwater Rooftop Harvesting seems difficult, another interesting thing that you can do is install small containers or portable tanks to collect water. You can put it up in your front and backyard as well. This water saved can be used for watering your gardens, washing your car etc.

Take public transport
Vehicles cause a lot of trouble during the rainy seasons. Either they give you starting problems or consume extra fuel as water enters the engines causing technical issues. So rather than driving slowly to avoid mishaps or keeping the engines on at the red light so it doesn't stop, it's always better to take the safe public transport.


Maintain your vehicles
Stated above are the common problems we face with our vehicles during the rainy seasons. So it starts to rain it's always safe to get your cars and bikes serviced and maintained. This will save your time, energy, fuel and money....and yes, irritations!

Save the clothes
Rainy season means wet clothes and washing them again and again can be painful. Repeated washing of clothes and use of washing machines also means more use of energy and water. A little care, use of proper raincoats can save our pain of washing clothes again and again.




Most importantly, Health!
Eat healthy, avoid getting wet in the rain often, avoid eating outside foods, and go green with your veggies, with your fabrics and with your habits.These above mentioned tips are simple and convenient and hope will make you rainy season enjoyable.




World Ocean Day

People say, "The ocean stirs the heart, inspires the imagination and brings eternal joy to the soul", But!! Will this saying hold true forever? With our planet earth covered 70% with oceans and looking at their deteriorating state, how can mankind even begin to think of saving them!!!!!It’s ‘World Oceans Day’ today, something that we usually tend to forget. Also, because its one the aspect of our lives we hardly care about. Oceans hold up so many mysterious things within it. The darkness, the beautiful life and unfortunately also the trash that human have deposited in there for years together. There are mind boggling facts available on the internet about the ill impacts of human habitat on the oceans. Like this one ‘Since water keeps the plastic cool and algae blocks ultraviolet rays, every little piece of plastic manufactured in the past 50 years that made it into the ocean is still out there somewhere. Sounds crazy, isn’t it! But unfortunately true. Our contribution to ocean waste is beyond our imagination. Another one tells us that ‘over one million seabirds are killed by ocean pollution each year. Three hundred thousand dolphins and porpoises die each year as a result of becoming entangled in discarded fishing nets, among other items. One hundred thousand sea mammals are killed in the ocean by pollution each year’ these poor species pay the price for our demands, requirements and desires. We did our job by disturbing their habitat and we are the only ones who can repair this damage.




Maharashtra Jeevan Pradhikaran the apex body in State of Maharashtra for water resources management Empanels Phytorid Technology as one of the most sustainable Technologies for rural applications

Rapid increases in population over the past century have aggravated the pressure on existing water resources. The quantity of water available worldwide, might not be able to meet the needs of a much larger population for much longer as pressures continue to increase. Water is among the most essential requisites that nature has provided to sustain life on earth. Polluting a river is dangerous because generally, rivers are the primary source of drinking water for towns and cities downstream of the point of pollution. Broadly the causes of water pollution can be attributed to Urbanization, Industrialization, Withdrawal of Waste Agricultural Runoff & Improper, Agricultural Practices and Religious & Social Practices. Technogreen patented Constructed Wetland Tedchnology has proved to be a boon in the field of water treatment and has been successfully applied. Maharashtra Jeevan Pradhikaran the apex body in State of Maharashtra for water resources management has Empanelled Phytorid Technology as one of the most sustainable Technologies for rural applications and 200 villages are to adopt it through NABARD funding




"Phytorid Technology"

Maharashtra Jeevan Pradhikaran the apex body in State of Maharashtra for water resources management Empanels Phytorid Technology as one of the most sustainable Technologies for rural applications