What are green crackers?

By: | Published: October 24, 2018 1:45 PM

As the name suggests, green crackers are said to be less harmful as compared to the conventional firecrackers.

The apex court ordered that only crackers with reduced emission and green crackers can be manufactured and sold in the retail market. (Representational photo: Reuters)

While permitting the use of firecrackers for celebration purposes, the Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled out complete ban and said the use of green crackers are allowed and no dangerous, high polluting crackers can be burst. The apex court ordered that only crackers with reduced emission and green crackers can be manufactured and sold in the retail market.

As the name suggests, green crackers are said to be less harmful as compared to the conventional firecrackers. Green crackers do not contain harmful chemicals. It means that less pollution emission resulting in reduced air pollution. Quoting Dr Rakesh Kumar, Director, (CSIR-NEERI), a report by The Indian Express said that in the green crackers, the materials which are less harmful and less dangerous to the environment are used.

The idea of green firecrackers is carried forward by a network of CSIR labs after it was proposed by Union Science & Technology Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan in January. The Central Electro Chemical Research Institute, Tamil Nadu, the Indian Institute of Chemical Technology, Telangana, the National Botanical Research Institute, Uttar Pradesh and the National Chemical Laboratory in Maharashtra have moved forward with the idea. All the part of the CSIR network.

“The idea was to assess if we can replace or reduce dangerous components with materials that are less harmful,” Kumar said. “We came up with 3-4 formulations and looked at 30-40% of active materials which reduce particulate matter,” IE reported.

Moreover, the CSIR-CECRI has developed flower pots by using eco-friendly materials that can potentially reduce particulate matter by 40%. CSIR-NEERI is testing the efficacy of crackers, named as Bijli crackers. Here they have eliminated the use of ash as desiccants. They have also developed potential sound-emitting functional prototypes that do not emit sulphur dioxide. Also in the pipeline are flower pots substituting barium nitrate with an eco-friendly version, which are in the testing stage now.

The crackers have been named as Safe Water Releaser (SWAS), Safe Thermite Cracker (STAR) and Safe Minimal Aluminium (SAFAL). According to the researchers, the crackers have the unique property of releasing water vapour and/or air as a dust suppressant and diluent for gaseous emissions that match with the performance in sound with traditional conventional crackers. These crackers are now under the testing stage at the Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation.

The results of the crackers have already been shown to some manufacturers and they have been successfully demonstrated in Sivakasi in Tamil Nadu, one of the hubs for fireworks industries in the country.

Highlighting the issue of the use of substandard raw materials in firework industries for manufacturing purpose, Dr Kumar also said that an emissions testing facility has also been established at CSIR-NEERI. This will test conventional and green crackers and monitor them for emissions and sound.

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.

The court in its ruling had suggested manufacture of green crackers with low emission and decibel standards. During Diwali, firecrackers could be burst between 8 pm and 10 pm, while people can burst them on Christmas and New Year days between 11.55 pm and 12.30 am, the apex court ruled.

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