October 6 : Minister for Science and
Technology and Earth Sciences Dr. Harsh Vardhan on Saturday launched a set of
new crackers that promises to help reduce particulate emissions by 30 per cent
while producing the same level of light and sound effects of traditional
The new firework,
which cover popularly used sound emitting crackers, flowerpots, pencils,
chakkar and sparklers, are based on formulations developed by a consortium of
eight laboratories under the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR)
led by Nagpur-based National Environmental Engineering Research Institute.
may even be cheaper
`green’ crackers at a press conference, Dr. Harsh Vardhan said the crackers
would be available at the same cost as the traditional ones. “Some of them may
even be cheaper,” he said.
He noted that
about 230 firework manufacturers have signed the memorandum of understanding
for using the formulations developed by CSIR scientists. Of them, 165 have gone
further and have also entered into non-disclosure agreement.
CSIR had taken up
the project to develop eco-friendly crackers in the wake of directions of the Supreme
Court restricting the use of fireworks to address the growing problem of
pollution in different parts of the country.
adopted a two-pronged approach. While one stream of activity was focussed on
improving the traditional crackers through reduction in the level of Barium
Nitrate, which is the main villain, the second pathway aimed at replacing
Barium Nitrate with a more benign Potassium Nitrate.
As part of the
exercise, the scientists also set up a new facility that could be used by
manufacturers to characterise the raw material and analyse the compositions of
the chemicals used in fireworks.
The Minister said
that the new and improved crackers have been demonstrated to manufacturers and
their associations such as Tamil Nadu Fireworks and Amorces Manufacturers
Association and Indian Fireworks Manufacturers Association, besides the Central
Pollution Control Board and Petroleum
And Explosives Safety Organisation, which is responsible to control transport,
storage and usage of all explosive materials,
Environmental Engineering Research Institute, the consortium consisted of
Central Electrochemical Engineering Research Institute, Indian Institute of
Toxicology Research, Indian Institute of Chemical Technology, National Chemical
Laboratory, Central Electronics Engineering Research Institute, National
Botanical Research Institute and Central Mechanical Engineering Research
Dr. Harsh Vardhan
said the new set of crackers would have a prominent green logo to differentiate
them from the conventional ones. Further, it would carry QR code for
monitoring. Scanning of the code would provide all information about the
product including the chemicals and the process used.
By Sunderarajan Padmanabhan
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