In order to address air pollution at high traffic zones like traffic intersections and parking areas, the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) and the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has developed a device.
WAYU, a prototype of the device, has been installed at the ITO Junction in central Delhi and Mukarba Chowk in north Delhi. 54 more units will be installed in other parts of the city in a month’s time and the cost of each purifier would be Rs 60,000. With the help of the Industrial Design Centre at IIT, Mumbai, the current prototype has been designed.
The device contains a fan that sucks the air around it. It then separates pollutants like dust and particulate matter with the help of three filters of different dimensions. The air is further lead into a specially designed chamber that oxidises carbon monoxide and hydrocarbon contents in the air into less harmful carbon dioxide using activated carbon coated with titanium dioxide. As the oxidation is supported by two ultraviolet lamps, the purified air is forcefully ejected into the atmosphere in order to help dilute pollutant content in the outside air.
Dr Rakesh Kumar, Director, NEERI stated that the filters are made of non-woven fabric and their removal efficiency for particulate matter is 80 to 90 per cent and of the poisonous gases is 40 to 50 per cent. The device is 5.5 feet tall and one foot wide and can bring down the particulate matter (PM) 10 values from 600 microgram per cubic metre to 100 microgram per cubic metre, while PM 2.5 values from 300 microgram per cubic metre to 60 microgram per cubic metre in half an hour. Also, for every 10-hour operation, the device consumes half a unit of electricity and is capable of providing purified air for an area of 500 sq m around it.
For the device to cater up to an area of 10,000 sq m and to treat other atmospheric pollutants like nitrous and sulphur oxides, the institute is working on scaling up the device in the coming next three months.