green-crackers-amid-growing-air-pollution-crisis-summary

Context: This Diwali green crackers is set to make its full-fledged debut in Delhi amid growing sentiment against not deepening the air pollution crisis in the Capital. 

More on the news: A ban on fireworks was imposed in 2018 and in 2019 and only green crackers were allowed, but the permission had come too late for manufacturers to ensure their availability on time.

Background: 

  • Traditionally, firecrackers have been made with barium nitrate, antimony and a range of metals that have been linked to respiratory diseases and even cancer.

Explained: How green are Deepavali crackers?

Source: TH

  • These factors guided the Supreme Court of India, putting a ban on fireworks. 
  • In an attempt to resolve the crisis of air pollution, the Government has launched green firecrackers. 
  • These crackers are available as sparklers, flowerpots, maroons and atom bombs. 

 

About Green crackers:

  • Developed by: The National Environmental and Engineering Research Institute (NEERI), a Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) lab.
    • Green logo as well as a Quick Response (QR) coding system has been developed for differentiation of green crackers from conventional crackers. This will avoid manufacture and sale of counterfeit products.
  • Formulations: 
    • The Nagpur-based NEERI substituted barium nitrate with potassium nitrate and zeolite. 
    • The green versions of the ‘flower pot’, one of the most popular fireworks, has a mixture of water and lime that is chemically stored in the cracker. 
  • Mechanism: When lit, the effulgence also triggers water and the makers claim that the moisture wets the dust-and-smoke particles.
  • Name: Scientists have given these crackers alternative names: Safe Water Releaser (SWAS), Safe Thermite Cracker (STAR) and Safe Minimal Aluminium (SAFAL).
  • Licence: Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation (PESO) would ensure the sale of green fireworks giving a final manufacturing licence after emission tests.
  • Advantages: 
    • As per the CSIR’s assessment, green crackers would reduce particulate matter pollution by 30%.
    • It also reduced a release of sulphur dioxide and nitrous oxide emissions.
    • When exploded these also emit similar levels of sound (100-10dBA) associated with traditional crackers.
  • Challenges: 
    • Not verified in real world conditions: The claims of reducing particulate matter pollution by 30% have been computed in a laboratory setting.
    • The production levels on the lower side this year: Due to the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic. 

Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation (PESO):

  • PESO is an office under the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, Ministry of Commerce and Industries, with its head office located in Nagpur, Maharashtra.
  • It was established in 1898 as a nodal agency for regulating safety of substances such as explosives, compressed gases and petroleum.

National Environmental and Engineering Research Institute (NEERI):

  • Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) is an autonomous body under Ministry of Science & Technology, having 38 national laboratories working in various areas of science and technology
  • CSIR-NEERI is one among those laboratories.

Source: TH