Sensor by Students Warns of Pollutants in 6 Seconds

Published: 13th January 2015 06:02 AM  |   Last Updated: 13th January 2015 06:02 AM   |  A+A-


BENGALURU: Imagine your mobile phone alerting you to the presence of dangerous pollutants or gas alarms quickly identifying toxic elements and warning you.

This could be a possibility in the near future thanks to two students from a public school in Mangaluru.

Komal S (Class XI) and Aditya Bhargava (Class X) of Sharada Vidyanikethana Public School in the coastal city have made this possible. The parents and teachers looked on with pride as the duo addressed the media on Monday.

Aditya said, “After much research and extensive experiments stretching for a year at the labs of the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) in Bengaluru, we have developed a unique SIM card-sized sensor from nanomaterials.”

Poisonous gases like carbon monoxide and sulpur dioxide in the atmosphere, which can cause mild to severe respiratory problems, can be identified in just six seconds by it, he added.

The sensor has been developed using nanomaterials manganese ferrite and cerium oxide.

“We are planning to integrate our invention into mobile phones so that we can get instant data and one can leave a place which has poisonous gases. If integrated into gas alarms, the time taken by them to sense it is very quick and can save lives,” Komal said.

The invention has been handed over to the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) to carry out tests.

“The time taken to sense the gases by other materials used in pollution detecting devices ranges between 2 and 8 hours, but our nanomaterials can sense in just 6 seconds,” he added.

IISc professors Dr Navakanta Bhat, Mugesh, Amit Varnekar and Mishra have played a pivotal role in their success.

Their invention were selected for two international competitions — the Indian Science and Engineering Fair and the Initiative for Research and Innovation in Science (IRIS) fair.

As they emerged toppers at the IRIS fair, they now get to travel to the United States to highlight their achievement. 


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