Green Crackers: Firecrackers with same glow but causing less pollution in works

  • Category
    Environment
  • Published
    29th Oct, 2018

Recently while restricting the use of fireworks during all events to an 8-10 pm window, the Supreme Court ordered that only crackers with reduced emission and “green crackers” can be manufactured and sold. The court observed that efforts have gone into producing such crackers.

Context

Recently while restricting the use of fireworks during all events to an 8-10 pm window, the Supreme Court ordered that only crackers with reduced emission and “green crackers” can be manufactured and sold. The court observed that efforts have gone into producing such crackers.

About

  • The Supreme Court, in its verdict allowed bursting of green crackers, understood to be low on harmful chemical emissions.
  • Scientists associated with the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) are ready with functional prototypes of a range of crackers and fireworks that promise up to 40% less emission.

Green crackers:

  • A low-polluting firecracker within the permitted decibel and emission norms is a green cracker
  • Green crackers are so named because they do not contain harmful chemicals that would cause air pollution. Components in firecrackers are replaced with others that are less dangerous and less harmful to the atmosphere.Broadly, it avoids the use of ash or filler materials and use charcoal as per specifications by Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation (PESO).
  • Green crackers are expected to bring a 30-35% reduction in particulate matter and a significant decline in hazardous nitrous oxide and sulphur dioxide as these would release water vapour and air which would suppress dust as well as dilute the gases emitted.
  • Researchers are also trying to contain the sound levels to less than 120 decibels. 

Background:

  • The idea of green firecrackers is carried forward by a network of CSIR labs after it was proposed by Union Science & Technology Minister.
  • The idea was to assess if we can replace or reduce dangerous components with materials that are less harmful.
  • The CSIR-CECRI has developed flower pots by using eco-friendly materials that can potentially reduce particulate matter by 40%.
  • Scientists have given these crackers alternative names: Safe Water Releaser (SWAS), Safe Thermite Cracker (STAR) and Safe Minimal Aluminium (SAFAL).

Significance

  • The apex court order will definitely impact sales of conventional crackers, but is difficult to quantify losses as the industry operates mostly unorganized.
  • Green crackers are relatively new methods and there aren't enough studies to show how it can impact health and environment. Many experts believe that crackers of any kind, be it green or the usual ones only add to the pollution.
  • But it is an attempt to make our religious beliefs and lifestyle more sustainable. Not only green, but another concept towards a cleaner environment is being tested, called E-Crackers. E-crackers or electric crackers are being tested by at the CSIR-CEERI in Pilani, Rajasthan.

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