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Air Pollution

Delhi Trying Out Bio Enzymes As Solution To Air Pollution Crisis

A pilot project was conducted in Rohini and Wazirpur which showed a reduction in particulate matter pollution by 30 to 55 per cent by using bio enzymes

Delhi Trying Out Bio Enzymes As Solution To Air Pollution Crisis
Delhi's air quality ranks among the worst in the world's capital cities

New Delhi: The Delhi government is exploring the use of bio enzymes to address the issue of air pollution with a pilot project conducted in Rohini and Wazirpur showing a reduction in particulate matter pollution by 30 to 55 per cent. Podilapu Mounica Kavya from R R Geocycle Private Limited, the firm that conducted the pilot in December, said,

While the application of bio enzymes for wastewater treatment and reducing contamination at landfill sites is known, this is possibly the first instance of using this method to combat air pollution in India.

During the pilot, a solution created by dissolving a litre of bio enzymes in 5,000 litres of water was sprayed in Rohini and Wazirpur using anti-smog guns of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi and the Public Works Department in three eight-hour cycles from December 16 to December 24, a report submitted by the firm to the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) said.

The results revealed a 55 per cent drop in PM2.5 levels and a 32 per cent decrease in PM10 levels on average, it said.

Also Read: An Invisible Killer Hangs In The Air Of Asia’s Cities

However, within three hours of discontinuing spraying of the bio enzymes, PM2.5 levels rose by 62 per cent and PM10 levels by 51 per cent on average.

The continuous spraying of the solution for seven hours showed better results with the PM2.5 and PM10 levels dropping by 60 to 65 per cent.

The concentration of nitrogen dioxide and sulfur dioxide also decreased notably while ozone levels showed an increase, according to the report.

Indonesia has also experimented with bio enzymes to control air pollution in Jakarta and Bali.

R R Geocycle Private Limited’s Ms Kavya said the cost of bio enzymes is Rs 2,000 per litre and spraying them across Delhi would amount to an expenditure of Rs 40 crore over 45 days.

Mukesh Khare, a professor at IIT-Delhi and a researcher on air pollution issues, said that using bio enzymes to reduce air pollution is unheard of.

Also Read: How Useful Is The Air Quality Index?

He said that while algae screens (biofilters) are used in the West for localised air purification, this bio enzyme approach is innovative.

Khare, however, cautioned about the potential impact of bio enzyme spraying on ecology. He stressed the need for an academic committee to review it.

Vivek Chattopadhyaya, Principal Programme Manager of the Air Pollution Control Cell at the Centre for Science and Environment, suggested testing the bio enzyme-based technology indoors and comparing results to rule out the impact of meteorological conditions and other interventions.

He emphasised the necessity of ensuring the safety of bio enzymes with regard to health.

The effect on the respiratory system and other organs in animals and humans should be determined and a credible third party should certify the technology before widespread use, he said.

Unfavourable meteorological conditions combined with vehicular emission, paddy straw burning, lighting of firecrackers and other local pollution sources contribute to hazardous air quality levels in Delhi-NCR every winter.

Also Read: GRAP’s Stage-3 Restrictions Invoked In Delhi As Air Quality Dips To ‘Severe’ Category

Delhi’s air quality ranks among the worst in the world’s capital cities.

A report by the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago in August had said that air pollution is shortening lives in Delhi by almost 12 years.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the Banega Swachh India initiative, which in its Season 10 is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Ayushmann Khurrana. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ populationindigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In a world post COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, mental well-being, self-care, science and health, adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, which is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.

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