Nanocity to Help Cities Breathe Freely
By Suraksha P | Chennai | Published: 11th May 2015 06:00 AM |
Delhi might have been named the world’s most polluted capital in a recent survey but that could change, as Shubhojit Mallick, a 24-year-old Data Analyst from Delhi might have solutions to offer. He recently won the annual Global Impact Competition of Singularity University, US, which is conducted across various countries. He received a fellowship worth $30,000 to attend the Graduate Studies Programme at Singularity.
Shubhojit’s project named NanoCity is a cylindrical contraption attached to the exhaust pipes of automobiles, which captures and converts the exhaust gases into electrical energy through a process called Reverse Engineering Photosynthesis. Currently working at gazeMetrix in Bangalore, he says, “NanoCity is a technology at the intersection of Nanochemistry, predictive analytics and urban planning, through which I’m trying to capture pollutants from automobiles in a cylindrical contraption and re-use them for various industrial applications.”
The contest was conducted over two months and received several entries from across India and Asia. Explaining his idea further, Shubhojit adds that these nanocylinders are microscopic in nature and intangible. “As these cylinders will be manufactured on flexible polymeric substrates, they can be modified easily into a variety of cylindrical exhaust pipe shapes. Every time pollutants are released they will get trapped within the porous membranes of these polymeric substrates,” he says.
“The polymer-based nanocylinders have embedded sensors which will be connected to cloud-based servers and constantly update the level of carbon pollutants as well as the density of particulate emission. These nanocylinders have a high surface area which allows almost every particle pollutant to be captured within the porous cylinders,” he explains.
The contraptions cannot be photographed at present because exposure to light might disturb the embedded systems. However, Shubhojit hopes to make it light resistant in the future, “Otherwise, no one will buy it,” he quips.
Asked about the funding required for scaling this project he says, “Though the final contraption costs only around Rs 5,000, setting up a lab for it requires $3 million to $7 million. However, once you have the working prototype, raising funds shouldn’t be difficult,” he says optimistically.