Green Firecrackers to Reduce Emission during Festivities

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The Supreme Court of India announced on October 23, 2018, that green crackers with low emissions and sound levels would only be permitted to be sold in the Delhi/NCR

Increasing concerns regarding air and sound pollution caused due to bursting of firecrackers on festivals is gaining significant traction since recent past. To overcome global warming and climate change issues, scientists at Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) formulated eco-friendly crackers, which reduce emissions and help to decrease noise pollution during festivities. “Green crackers are basically reduced emission crackers wherein we reduce some harmful components such as Barium, Aluminum and Chromium which are conventionally used to get different colors. So, the strategy is to reduce or replace these components with less toxic chemicals which can bring down emissions to significant levels,” said Director Dr Rakesh Kumar, CSIR-National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (CSIR-NEERI).

Current research studies aim to develop firecrackers, which show 30-35% reduction in emission of particulate matter (PM10 and PM2.5) and 35-40% reduction in Oxides of Sulphur and Nitrogen (SO2 and NOx) and whose sound levels are within the permitted limits (less than 120 decibels). An emission monitoring laboratory at NEERI examined the source-based emissions being caused by these firecrackers, which were used to classify them as green crackers. However, visible markers used to differentiate these crackers from other commercial crackers are yet to be disclosed.

Researchers are focused on replacing most harmful chemicals such as Aluminum, Barium, and Chromium. Aluminum is used as fuel in fireworks to give white brilliant sparkle, which may cause dermatological complications. The Barium salt is used to produce attractive green color, which also emits poisonous gas causing respiratory problem. The Court has also directed Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organization (PESO) to review the clinical composition of fireworks, particularly reducing Aluminum content, and submit its report within a period of two weeks.

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