Now, green firecrackers with up to 30 per cent lower particulate matter emission are available throughout the country, Union Science Minister Harsh Vardhan said on Saturday at an event in New Delhi.
Researchers from National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) of the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) have demonstrated the technology with popular fireworks such as flowerpots, pencils and sparklers. These will soon be available in the market.
There is no barium nitrate in the new CSIR-NEERI formulation of green crackers.
These crackers have been categorised as follows:
- Safe water releaser (SWAS)
- Safe minimal aluminium (SAFAL)
- Safe thermite cracker (STAR)
All three crackers release water vapour or air which acts a dust suppressant and diluent for gaseous emissions.
SWAS and STAR have no potassium nitrate and sulphur, and reduce particulate matter, and sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxide by at least 30 per cent. These two have matching sound intensities in the 105-110dBA.
SAFAL uses low quantity of aluminium, and produces at least 35 per cent lower particulate matter than commercial crackers.
Chinese crackers, maroons, atom bombs, flowerpots, pencils and sparklers are being made using these technologies.
These green products can only be manufactured by those who have signed a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) with CSIR-NEERI. Over 230 MoUs and 165 NDAs have been signed.
530 emission testing certificates have been issued to manufacturers.
For consumers to distinguish, there will be a unique logo on the box along with a QR code with production and emission details.
While stubble burning is considered the major source of winter air pollution in Delhi and north India, firecrackers aggravate the situation and this smog takes days to clear.
The Supreme Court had put a ban on polluting firecrackers just before Diwali last year. It had allowed only green crackers to be sold throughout the country. But this was reportedly flouted.