New Delhi [India], Aug 31 (ANI/Mediawire): Pi Green Innovations is a cleantech company which works with the single mission of providing Clean Air for All. With its indigenously developed technology, the company has developed products keeping in mind the various daily life situations that cause immense health hazards due to prolonged exposure to Particulate Matter (PM).
To learn more about Pi Green, and what they aim to do over the next few years, we got chatting with Irfan Pathan, Co-founder and CEO.
So, what is your view on the Government's initiatives towards Air Pollution.
We welcome the initiatives taken by the Government of India, the National Green Tribunal (NGT), the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and respective State Pollution Control Boards (SPCBs) to address the problem of Air Pollution that the country is facing. Pi Green Innovations seeks to partner with the Government in reducing emissions by implementing guidelines as mentioned in the National Clean Air Program (NCAP) which has identified 122 Non- Attainment Cities (NAC) where the Air Quality Index (AQI) does not meet the WHO prescribed limit. India is one of the most polluted countries in the world and it is time that we adopt a multi-pronged approach to combat Air pollution at various levels. Improving the AQI is a step by step process and the NCAP is certainly a step in the right direction.
Tell us something about Pi Green Innovations.
Pi Green Innovations is a cleantech company based out of Pune. We are working to combat air pollution by reducing the PM from the ambient Air and also from the sources like Vehicles and Diesel Generators (DG Sets). Our proprietary technology has been rated as one of the best technologies for air purification globally at Smogathon, 2018. We are also solution partners to United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in their initiatives for Clean Air in India. We have applied for patents in India, USA, China, Japan, Singapore, UK and Europe.
What is particulate matter? Why is it harmful?
Particulate Matter refers to extremely small particles suspended in the air. Components of particulate matter (PM) include finely divided solids or liquids such as dust, fly ash, soot, smoke, aerosols, and fumes that can be suspended in the air for an extended period of time. PM 2.5/ PM 10 once inhaled can directly affect the heart and lungs and cause serious health problems. In metro cities, one of the major contributing factors for air pollution and, perhaps, the deadliest of all pollutants is particulate matter PM 2.5 because they are small enough to penetrate the lungs and even the bloodstream, leading to critical health issues. Major sources of PM pollution in cities are vehicles, construction, industrial emissions and DG Sets.
How does Pi Green help in reduction of PM pollution?
Pursuant to the National Green Tribunal) NGT order dated 06/08/2019, all DG sets operational in India are required to be retrofitted with a device to reduce PM emissions by at least 70 per cent. Various State Pollution Control Boards (SPCBs) including Tamil Nadu, J&K and Haryana have started issuing orders to this effect to all DG set operators within their jurisdiction. We have developed several products to address different sources of air pollution. The DG set retrofit which is the Carbon Cutter Machine is designed to curb PM emissions from DG sets. Likewise, we have products to address pollution of the vehicles and jaggery processing units and ambient air.
The Carbon Cutter for DG sets sounds interesting. Could you tell us more about it?
Simply put, the Carbon Cutter is a filter-less retro-fit device attached to the exhaust of a DG set. The DG gensets pollution emission passes through a processing cylinder where our proprietary technology converts it to carbon powder which is stored in a container. This carbon can be further recycled. In conclusion, it reduces the PM 2.5 and PM 10 emissions by more than 80 per cent and can be customized depending on the capacity of the DG set. Carbon Cutter might not be the only solution in this space.
What are the other options available in the market to reduce such emissions?
Carbon Cutter is not the only solution. There are a few filter- and solvent-based solutions as well. What sets us apart is our product's sustainability and reliability in the long run.
What are the drawbacks of filter-based retrofits?
Let me explain. One of the major drawbacks of a filter-based solution is that the filters tend to choke over time. Once they get choked, they don't allow the passage of the incoming smoke, creating a lot of back pressure consequently, the system will be forced to open a bypass valve or activate a partial flow that simply lets the emissions out directly into the atmosphere without any treatment. In an instant, the efficiency of such a system drops from 70 per cent to zero.
Filter-less means that the product requires significantly lesser maintenance. Carbon Cutter does not clog, there is no backpressure, needs no replacement, water connection or chemicals of any sort.
While that sounds impressive, it also seems quite sophisticated. Will the initial cost of buying and installing the Carbon Cutter be more expensive than other solutions?
Not at all. In fact, the Carbon Cutter is remarkable value for money because it is at least 30 per cent more affordable than any other solution. Especially when you take into consideration that it offers consistent levels of pollution reduction efficiency and needs lower maintenance when compared to other products.
What is the test of efficacy of the retrofit devices? As a customer, how does one know which device meets the criteria laid down in the Government?
The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has appointed five institutions to test the efficacy of the retrofit devices namely, Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI), International Center for Automotive Technology (ICAT), Indian Oil Corporation R & D Center, Indian Institute of Petroleum, Vehicle Research and Development Establishment. Any retrofit device which reduces PM emissions from DG sets by at least 70 per cent in tests conducted by either one of the above, is compliant as per the norms laid down by the National Green Tribunal (NGT). We have planned a 5 mode D 2 cycle test in the next month with one of the above institutions. In an earlier development test with one of these agencies the CCM has reported over 90% efficiency in PM reduction.
The gensets itself are fairly large equipment, so, how much space will the Carbon Cutter need to be retro-fitted to an existing genset?
The Carbon Cutter is an extremely modular piece of equipment. As it is a customised solution, we make optimum utilisation of the space allotted to us by our clients. In our experience, space allocation has not been a challenge.
Does Pi Green have other products to reduce air pollution?
Certainly. Carbon Cutter is only one part of our product portfolio.
* We have also developed a filterless Carbon Cutter retrofit for heavy vehicles to reduce exhaust emissions.
* RepAir is another product that uses a variation of the same filter-less technology to purify ambient air in large and open spaces. It can be installed in public places such as metro stations, bus stations, airports, public parks etc. RepAir also has an ultraviolet chamber that neutralises harmful bacteria and viruses from the surrounding air and helps maintain cleaner air in the vicinity.
* We have also developed a device for reducing emissions from pollution-intensive jaggery processing units.
Device for reducing emissions from Jaggery processing units? Can you elaborate?
In India, there are approximately eighty thousand to one lakh jaggery processing units which cause pollution in rural areas. These units are majorly concentrated in states of Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Punjab. These jaggery processing units lack any kind of emission control infrastructure such as chimneys or exhaust systems causing considerable particulate matter emissions.
Pi Green Innovations has developed a filterless device specifically to address this problem, which will ensure 80-90 per cent reduction in PM emissions from these jaggery processing units. We are looking to collaborate with government bodies and private organizations as part of their CSR initiatives in order to install these units to curb emissions from these Jaggery processing units thereby creating a positive impact at the grassroot level.
What are your future plans?
We see a lot of potential for sustainable air purification technologies in India and on a global scale as well and are looking to add innovative products to our existing portfolio. We are exploring specific opportunities in the UK and Europe where our technology can bring about positive change. We are also looking to raise further rounds of investments from institutional investors. Our endeavor will always be to contribute significantly towards improving the air quality in India and globally.
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