Published: Friday 15 December 1995

CLEAN UP TIME: Pollutec Operations, Australia, has come up with a technology to extract litter and other solid debris from urban stormwater drains. The process, known as Continuous Deflective Separation, is likely to prove a boon for cities since it removes virtually all water-borne polluting solids such as packaging materials, bottles, cans, plastic containers etc. The process works quite simply. a stainless steel perforated screen is fitted in a hydraulically balanced chamber set in the main pipe. Water passes through the deflection pipe, but solid items are diverted into a central catchment chamber.

DREAMS COME TRUE: The production of energy from ocean waves has come within the realm of reafity courtesythe hydropiezoelectric generator developed by Ocean Power Technologies, New Jersey, USA. The generator comprises a thin panel made from polarised polyvinylidene flouride, attached to a float and a battery unit. When ocean waves move the float and stretch the panel, some molecules get displaced, releasing positive and negativecharges. Electrodes capture these charges and store them in batteries located at the base.

ECO-FRIENDLY CIRCUIT BOARDS: Printed circuit boards need no longer be perceived as environmental headaches. NEC, the Japanese electronics giant, has developed a technology that increases the proportion of recy clable material on printed circuit boards from 20 per cent to 70 per cent. The new know-how would enable the recycling of solder glass fibre and epoxy resins. This is how the process works: the circuit board is heated using infra-red radiation and the components are then dismantled. It is then pulverised and separated into a copper-rich powder and a glass fibre resin powder.

ONLY GREEN: From waste water treatment technology to J commercial horticulture - that's the path chosen by Ion Exchange (India) Ltd. A new company, Ion Exchange Enviro Farms Ltd, will spearhead this diversification by developing 40,500 ha of fallow land into orchards using hio-intensive farming methods. The company will undertake farming of proven cash crops like mango and cashew. The initial thrust areas will be Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu with the first project being set up in Mangano taluka of Raigad district in Maharashtra.

SQUEAKY CLEAN BATHS: Aquarian Overseas in India has devised a new green geyser that is likely to create waves. Its major eco-friendly and user-friendly features are that it does not have a metal body, conserves both heat and water and is made from non-corrosive materials. In addition, the geyser does not require the normal safety devices found in other geysers. Its inventor, S Mathur, also claims that the geyser is electric shock proof. At a more esoteric level, the green geyser has a vent which allows toxicants from chlorinated water such as tri-halo-methane, trichloro-ethylene and chloroform to be released.

REFINED WAYS: When the Indian Oil Corporation's Panipat refinery is commissioned in 1997, it is likely to be greener than any of its counterparts in the country. On the cards are green belts, an ecological park and air monitoring of surrounding areas. Also to be set up is an effluent treatment plant to recycle a part of the effluent. To prevent air pollution by sulphur dioxide, construction of a sulphurrecovery unit will also get underway.

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