Air pollution: IIT-Delhi scientists work on clean air tech with Sharp

Sudhir Chowdhary
iit, iit delhi

Air pollution is a leading health risk factor in India. A dramatic increase in pollution levels (in recent years) in our cities calls for joint efforts to combat this growing health menace. A recent industry-academia collaboration between Japanese technology firm Sharp and Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, on a new-age technology has thrown up interesting results on how to control air pollution. Sharp, working in collaboration with two IIT Delhi associate professors-Sagnik Dey and Gazala Habib-has demonstrated that Plasmacluster Ion (PCI) has an efficacy to remove PAHs (Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons), which are contained as toxic air pollutants in Indian cities. This project started in 2018 by measuring the composition of particulate matter in air pollutants in New Delhi NCR region. As a result, many types of pollutants were identified, including PAHs, which are known to be toxic to the human body.

Using the results as a reference, IIT Delhi and Sharp selected three types of PAHs to test the effectiveness of Plasmacluster against these PAHs. The results showed that 91.1% of Fluoranthene, 62.1% of Chrysene, and 94.6% of Dibenzo(a, h)anthracene were effectively removed by applying Plasmacluster. Plasmacluster Ion is an advanced air purification technology from which positive ions (H + (H2O) n) and negative ions (O2– (H2O) m])are released into the air simultaneously. These positive and negative ions instantly recombine on the surface of pollutants such as bacteria, viruses and chemical compounds floating in the air to form hydroxyl (OH) radicals. Sharp is using the fact that higher ion concentration results in greater efficacy to decompose air pollutants. Sharp envisages the potential application of this technology in other environments such as hospital, office, public area etc.

Gazala Habib commented: "It is expected that usage of PCI technology will lead to the improvement of the indoor air environment and contribution to the healthier life of users around the world."