CSIR developed Less Polluting Firecrackers named SWAS, SAFAL ,STAR
The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) scientists have developed less polluting green firecrackers named SWAS, SAFAL, STAR. Green crackers are so named because they do not contain harmful chemicals that would cause air pollution. The new crackers have been developed by scientists of two national labs – Central Electrochemical Research Institute (CECRI) based in Karaikudi, Tamil Nadu and National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) in Nagpur.
Researchers decided to replace aluminum with magnesium on the understanding that it would reduce ignition temperature and subsequently minimize particulate matter coming from the cracker. The trick worked. Field trials were conducted at Sivakasi, which is also in Tamil Nadu and which is a major firework manufacturing centers in the country and the new composition showed positive results.
The researchers at NEERI have developed greener version of what is called `bijli’ crackers. Three prototypes have been developed and named SWAS (safe water releaser), SAFAL (safe minimum aluminum) and STAR (safe thermite cracker). The particulate matter was reduced by 30-35 percent in SWAS and 35 to 40 percent in SAFAL and STAR.
- SWAS stands for safe water releaser, SAFAL stands for safe minimal aluminum and STAR stands for safe thermite cracker. These crackers are 15-20 percent cheaper than the conventional ones.
- STAR eliminates usage of Potassium nitrate and sulfur. SAFAL has less usage of aluminum as compared to commercial crackers.
- The new crackers have been developed by Central Electrochemical Research Institute (CECRI) based in Karaikudi, Tamil Nadu and National Environmental Engineering Research Institute in Nagpur
- The firecrackers have a unique property of releasing water vapor The researchers at CECRI have developed green crackers by modifying the chemical formulations for flower pots, ‘jiljil’ and used flower pots as a substitution for barium nitrate.
- The crackers will come in the market after the approval from Petroleum and Explosive Safety Organization (PESO), which is the nodal agency for safety requirements in the manufacture, storage, transport of all types of explosives.
About CSIR –NEERI
The CSIR-National Environmental Engineering Research Institute is a research institute created and funded by Government of India under the Ministry of Science and Technology. It works in the field of environmental science and engineering and is a part of Council of Scientific and Research. It was established in Nagpur in 1958. The Indian fireworks industry has an annual turnover of over Rs 6000 crore.It provides employment opportunities to about 5 lakh families annually. CSIR tried to address the pollution level and at the same time protecting the livelihoods of those involved in this industry.