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ANAJ BANK

BY Nikitha Nandam

A few years ago, the villagers of Patna district are landless and most of the people died due to starvation. There used to be a system called “Deohriya” where the poor farmers had to give 7.5kg of rice in return if they take 5kg of rice from the rich. Because of this, farmers had to pay back even if there were in a position to pay or not and this exploitation led to so many deaths. Now, it is not the condition anymore. The women in villages thought of a plan where they set a bank and named it “Anaj Bank”.

       The main objective of this bank is to help the poorest of the poor. Firstly, it was started by a group of girls in Kashi to help the poor where the depositors won’t get interest in return but satisfaction and invocation. This bank only has only two kinds of membership, donor and recipient in which collects food grains from the donors and gives them to the recipients. The donors get themselves registered whereas the recipients are selected by them through their survey. For this survey, they will go to door to door to make a list of malnourished, poor, undernourished men, women and children. Now, these banks are set in 65 villages around Patna and eastern Uttar Pradesh. Continue reading “ANAJ BANK”

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SMART MATERIALS: PZT

BY Shubham Kene, Ishan Chouhan, Pranay Dahiwale, Aditya Prava, Ishant Dhage, Akshay Gaurkhede

Smart Materials are useful in converting one form of energy into another by some or other principles. Whether these smart materials can be made useful in saving electricity is the driving force among researchers in search of energy saving materials. Our work is towards the application of smart materials in voltage generation. PZT (Lead Zirconium Titanate) is one such type of smart material looking forward for an application as green materials and is expected to be made useful in saving electricity. The concept of “AUTOMATED SMART ROOM may be one type of such invention for future aspects. Using electro-ceramics sensors, it is possible to develop such a room which can automatically switch on the electricity supply as soon as person steps on the sensor (which are attached on floor of the room) and also automatically cut off the electricity supply as the person leaves the room. This has been frequently used in Australia and New Zealand. If this concept is put into use, just think how much electricity we can save!

 

Features of Automated Smart Rooms (ASR):

  1. A room without any electric switches
  2. Save electricity without having to switch off buttons manually
  3. Floor only act as switch for electrical appliances

 

 

This is idea of Mr. Sudhanshu Kuthe, Final Year B.Tech student of Metallurgical and Materials Engineering Department at Visvesvaraya National Institute of Technology, Nagpur had presented this innovative idea in the competition called 3MT at IIT Powai’s event called Padarth.

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Wall of kindness!

–BY Rishabh, Mangesh

Initially started for the homeless people of the Mashhad, Iran, the act serves a purpose to support the people in need. In response to social media, large numbers of people are taking part as a campaign and it has helped many homeless or otherwise destitute people during the cold winter weather.

The basic purpose of starting this is to help to help the homeless people and who are seriously in need to fulfill their basic need of clothing. There is not a single organization or administration that is keeping track of or maintaining records on this voluntary venture. This just turned out to be a give and take between the needy and the ones that wanted to contribute. With the regular sight of dirty walls that are filled with movie posters and spit stains, this is beautiful work by the citizens of North India, and it is worth spreading across the entire country.

Such Act to Kindness have been started in India at various places like Allahabad, Dehradun, Korba etc. Named as ‘Neki ki Deewar’.

Few such walls named as ‘Maanuskichi Bhinta’ are present in Nagpur City, Maharashtra. It is really a very simple and efficient way of helping the needy and we should encourage and supports such efforts.

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Mist spraying system at Nagpur railway station.

BY Hemanshu, Milind, Anmol, Ashish, Rohit

Field visits form an integral part of our project under the course innovative design. Of the numerous places we visited, the Nagpur Railway Station was one of the most interesting ones.

Summers in Nagpur are known to be brutal. The blistering heat can push the temperatures upto 48 degree Celsius.  And travel in such cruel temperatures can be a vicious ordeal.  Under the new government, the Indian Railways is seeing numerous innovations in all fields. One such grave problem happens to be tackling of heat at the open platforms at Railway Stations.

Our topic for the project happens to be the designing of a new and reusable drinking water bottle. We had planned to get reviews on the existing design of bottles from passengers, vendors, garbage collectors and officials at the railway station. Noon happens to be the ideal time as the demand for water would be the highest during that time.

As we reached the first platform on the station, we were delighted to be greeted by a cool breeze. My first reaction was that of shock as I had never expected such a fall in temperature in a place with so much rush and crowd at this time of the day. We noticed sprays of mist coming out of nozzles on pipes running throughout the length of the platform along the overhead shed. It reminded me of the poster of the movie Main Hoo Naa!! Continue reading “Mist spraying system at Nagpur railway station.”

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The art of pollution

–BY Manasa P

One person’s disgusting vehicle exhaust is a clever entrepreneur’s treasure.

At least that’s how the two co-founders of Graviky Labs, a startup that sprang out of MIT Media Lab, are approaching the problem of air pollution from cars and buses with their product “Air-Ink”.

Their process starts with a device called a Kaalink, shown below as a see-through illustration and below attached to a car’s tailpipe. It’s a glorified filter that grabs black carbon soot from the burning of gasoline, diesel, and other fuels.Each Kaalink is reusable and allegedly filters “between 85-95%” of soot emissions from a vehicle.

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[B]y preventing particulate matter from entering into the air, we are able to prevent the health hazards associated with the inhalation of particulate matter. A Kaalink won’t stop carbon dioxide gas from going into the air and exacerbating climate change, but it does target carbon soot that contributes to dangerous form of pollution called PM 2.5.

The “PM” stands for “particulate matter,” and the “2.5” stands for 2.5 microns in diameter or smaller – roughly the size of a single bacterium. Such pollution is so nasty because it “can get lodged in the lungs and cause long-term health problems like asthma and chronic lung disease.”

PM 2.5 levels are so toxic in some cities that daily outdoor exercise like walking, running, or biking outside poses more of a health risk than staying home .

In terms of improving air quality on a massive scale, it’s highly unlikely that making ink out of car, truck, and bus exhaust will ever match the impact of regulations and pollution-scrubbing technologies built into nearly all modern cars. Nevertheless, it’s an interesting idea for the millions of beater cars and buses out there, particularly in developing nations where pollution ordinances are rare, or rarely enforced.

We are replacing the consumption of fossil fuels to make carbon black.

Graviky Labs claims the whole process – manufacturing the Kaalink exhaust caps, harvesting the soot from them, purging heavy metals from that gunk, and creating an industrial-grade black ink product – is carbon-neutral.

Put another way: Air-Ink allegedly captures more carbon emissions from vehicles than it takes to produce the ink.

They say it depends on which car is being filtered and how dirty its exhaust is, but typically each 1-ounce (30-mL) bottle of Air-Ink represents about 45 minutes’ worth of soot emissions being “canceled out.”

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The greenest car ever!

–BY Nihar

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What would be the greenest fuel you could imagine a car ran on? Solar, Electric, Hydrogen, Biogas??? Well prepare to be surprised. TATA Motors in collaboration with Motor Development International (MDI) – a French firm, is developing a car set to run on AIR…. 

Yes that is right, this pioneering car design is introducing an innovative zero- emission exhaust mechanism which uses compressed air for propulsion. The compressed air is stored in a tank at 30 psi and rather than sticking to a conventional engine piston with an ignited fuel-air mixture, air cars use the expansion of compressed air, in a similar manner to the expansion of steam in a steam engine. 

To add to the excitement, this futuristic car comes equipped with a joystick instead of a steering wheel, and will be able to accommodate three adults and a baby. The car’s tank can be filled at any compressed air station. The car will offer a range of 200 Kms and probably a top-speed of 80Km/h. 

The air engine greatly reduces the risk of injury risk in the event of high-impact crash since the fuel is non-flammable and in case it explodes, it produces no shrapnel. 

Currently, this car is in the prototype stage and still has a long way to go before it hits the road. There are a few kinks to be sorted out, a few safety guidelines to be met, etc. But, the people in TATA Motors are greatly optimistic that this car will become the norm by the next decade.. Fingers crossed!!!

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Tyres from Tomato!

–BY Nachiket Gokhale

In future there are signs of production of motor tyres from agricultural residues along with the industries. Scientists have come up with technologies that would utilise tomato peels and egg shells for the production of tyre fillers

Since last few centuries the tyres were manufactured using petroleum products. Now these food wastes would replace these petroleum products. Scientists from Ohio state university have found out the technology for utilizing tomato peels to manufacture tyres which are more efficient and durable. Scientist Katerina Karnish says, due to this technology rubber products will become more durable and also would aid in utilising this food waste effectively. Any tyre contains 30% of Carbon Black. This carbon black is produced from petroleum products and delivers black colour and strength to the rubber. The increase in demands of tyres and the extinction of petroleum stocks, there is a need to find out alternative fillers which can be produced using the resources which are easily available and unutilized.

Farmers prefer cultivating breeds of tomato having thick peels as thick peels increase the life of tomatoes. These type of tomatoes are preferred by ketchup manufacturing industries. These industries only utilise the pulp of tomato and the peels are thrown away. These peels are now utilised to make tyre fillers.

Tyres made using tomato fillers are reddish in colour. Egg shell fillers give the necessary strength but lag in giving flexibility. These tomato Fillers add flexibility to the tyre.

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Waste management of petha-waste

–BY Manasa P

Travellers will tell you that there’s no sight like the Taj Mahal gleaming on a full moon night. Every year, thousands of tourists from all over the world arrive in Agra to behold — and photograph — the Mughal marvel. But along with historical monuments, there is another icon in the city.

The petha is Agra’s most famous sweet, produced and sold in thousands across the city every day. Pethas are soft, translucent candies made from winter melons, also known as ash gourd. Historical records, and the people of Agra, mention that some of the earliest instances of pethas were found in the royal kitchens during the reign of Shah Jahan. Today, hundreds of stores sprinkled across Agra offer the original pethas and their many flavoured iterations. Delicious as they are however, pethas are one of the largest sources of waste in the city.

The team at Go Get Garbage, an Agra-based waste management initiative, has taken it upon themselves to clean the mess while keeping the heritage of the petha intact.

Agra is a city of contrast, dominated by a global tourism on one hand and by low civic standards on the other, says Rahul Jain, IIT-Roorkee alumni and founder of Go Get Garbage. Along with hospitality and leather manufacturing, the petha business comprises one of the city’s key industries with staggering production — and waste — estimates.

With the number of operational petha units in the city, the quantity of petha waste generated each day is estimated at 200 tonnes.As they gained in positive response in the city, the Go Get Garbage team transformed into a full-fledged initiative, intent on providing solutions.

It is also easier to manage petha waste than one might imagine. Being made from winter melons, the waste is bio-degradable. If stored separately and kept clean, the remains of these fruits make for excellent fertilizers that replenish the soil and remove toxicity. The team have engaged with Agra’s petha manufacturing associations to convert petha waste into compost.

The team is now setting up plans for a waste treatment facility with the aim to produce upto 250 tonnes of compost or fertilizers from petha waste.

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The success of the project in Agra will pave the way for similar projects in other areas.

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Plastics to fuel!

–BY Aparajita Dhoble

All around the globe companies and individuals are starting to produce fuel from waste plastic. As only 8% of waste plastic is recycled in the U.S., 15% in Western Europe, and much less in developing countries, this reuse of plastic could potentially keep enormous amounts of plastic out of landfills and out of the oceans.

Why Plastic Waste Is A Problem

Over 500 billion pounds of new plastic is manufactured each year and roughly 33% of that is single use and thrown away. As so little plastic is recycled, we need to reframe plastic waste as an underused resource vs. one that’s destined for the landfill.

If all plastic waste made it into the landfill, it would surely be mined in the future, but currently all plastic waste does not make it into our landfills. The United Nations estimates plastic accounts for four-fifths of the accumulated garbage in the world’s oceans. We need to stop polluting our oceans with plastic before it is too late, and start collecting all plastics suitable for this new, fairly simple, technology, a technology that is available now.

How Plastic Waste Is Turned Into Fuel

The technology is not overly complicated. plastics are shredded and then heated in an oxygen-free chamber (known as pyrolysis) to about 400 degrees celsius. As the plastics boil, gas is separated out and often reused to fuel the machine itself.

The fuel is then distilled and filtered. Because the entire process takes place inside a vacuum and the plastic is melted – not burned, minimal to no resultant toxins are released into the air, as all the gases and or sludge are reused to fuel the machine.

What Plastic Can Be Used?

For this technology, the type of plastic you convert to fuel is important. If you burn pure hydrocarbons, such as polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP), you will produce a fuel that burns fairly clean. But burn PVC, and large amounts of chlorine will corrode the reactor and pollute the environment.

Burning PETE releases oxygen into the oxygen deprived chamber thereby slowing the processing, and PETE recycles efficiently at recycling centers, so it is best to recycle PETE traditionally. HDPE (jugs) and LDPE (bags and films) are basically polyethylene so usable as fuel as well, just slightly more polluting as a thicker heavier fuel is created. But additional processing can turn even HDPE into a clean diesel.

“Polyethylene and polypropylene are pure hydrocarbons, only they are arranged in long chains. If you chop those chains into shorter ones, you get oil, if you chop them even shorter, you get diesel, and if you chop them again, you get gasoline and eventually burnable gas.”

 

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Improper disposal of sanitary waste

–BY Sreelakshmi, Reeha

A few days ago while scrolling through our news feed on Facebook,we came across a link posted by a website named youthkiawaaz.com.The link redirected to an article where it spoke at length about the ordeal faced by garbage pickers when they collected waste from households,especially poorly wrapped sanitary napkins.It highlighted the plight of a lady named Manwara Begum who goes around 300 houses to collect garbage everyday.They pay her in cash-not in dignity.Unwrapped sanitary waste exposes them to harmful pathogens like staphylococcus,hepatitis,E coli,salmonella,typhoid,etc. The humiliation that Manwara faces everyday isn’t unique. Waste-pickers and waste-collectors across urban India experience it daily.  Even when women wrap them up in newspapers, it is not distinguishable from other waste items and invariably ends up being opened.

In order to combat this,manufacturers should provide consumers adequately sized,separate and unique bags to discard the sanitary towels. Even if people in houses try to prevent this, they are unable to do so because the packaging provided by manufacturers for consumer-use are often insufficient for this purpose.

We went on to surf the internet for more details regarding this and apparently Pune’s SWaCH waste cooperative in collaboration with PMC has launched a Red Dot campaign where the volunteers used their creativity to  request people to securely wrap their sanitary waste in a newspaper and mark it with a “red dot”,which in turn helps them segregate the waste accordingly without the need of opening it.With the help of tshirts,mugs,mini push carts,posters and other merchandise,the campaign has made a great impact on the society.Extensive door to door outreach on the subject is being done to those residents who were not in favour of the campaign initially since the campaign coincides with a year long training program for SWaCH workers to improve their advocacy and awareness about sanitary issues.

This issue has intrigued us in such a way that it urged us to start an online petition on change.org.The link has been posted below.Those who wish to voice their opinion and bring about a change,please go ahead and cast your vote!

https://www.change.org/p/procter-gamble-provision-of-adequately-sized-envelopes-for-proper-disposal-of-sanitary-waste?recruiter=322510017&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=share_for_starters_page&utm_term=des-lg-no_src-no_msg