A cleanleap using soot from diesel generators to create ink

Three young inventors from New Delhi, India have developed Chakr Shield; a technology that traps over 90 percent of pollutant suspended particulate matter (SPM) emissions from exhaust pipes of diesel generators. The SPM in form of soot (black carbon) is then recycled to make inks and paints.  

From 2016 when the patented Chakr Shield was first used, it has captured 500 kilograms of the pollutant SPM, resulting in 2,500 billion liters of air being purified.  “This is equivalent to air breathed by almost 600,000 individuals in one year,” said Arpit Dhupar, the Chakr Shield innovation co-founder, and Chief Technology Officer.  

To capture the SPM, the Chakr Shield is retrofitted on exhaust outlets of diesel energy generators.  The cooling mechanism in it causes the soot particles to cluster together. The soot particles are then captured by passing the exhaust gases through contours and meshes containing an engineered solvent. 

The meshes and contours with the soot are cleaned with a real time self cleaning mechanism containing an engineered solvent, which holds the soot without reacting to it. The soot with the solvent is then collected in a collection bin, and processed as ink thereafter. 

To function, the shield requires less than 1 percent of the diesel engine power which is used during the self cleaning cycle. Particle tests done on exhaust pipes on a Turbocharged Straight Injection (TSI) apparatus show that after using the Chakr Shield, the exhaust particles meet the European specified limit.  This shield can be used in other countries to help them comply with their emission standards for non-road mobile machinery. 

The particulate soot matter captured is being used to make an ink brand dubbed pollution ink (POINK), which is then used in textiles, painting, and printing industries.  A diesel engine of 100 kilo-volt-ampere running for an hour produces enough SPM to make a liter of ink.

And each liter of ink produced, purifies 700 million liters of air. 

In India, over 50 Chakr devices have been sold to companies and institutions that use diesel generators to stand in for erratic mains power supply.  Tata Realty And Infrastructure Limited, Mahindra World City, Reliance Communications, Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited, and the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi are some notable entities using the Chakr Shield. 

The idea to develop the Chakr Shield occurred when Dhupar and his friends were drinking sugarcane juice at a roadside joint. The sugarcane crusher was running on diesel, and the exhaust was releasing its fumes to a wall which had turned black due to the diesel soot. A light bulb moment occurred to Dhupar and he felt the soot which had turned the wall black could be used as paint. After several iterations of trying different technologies in a one year period, the co-founders came up with Chakr shield. 

According to a 2017 study released by Greenpeace, 1.2 million Indians lose their lives annually to deadly air pollution which costs the economy an estimated 3 percent of the GDP. According to a Berkeley Earth report, breathing the air in New Delhi is equivalent to smoking 25 cigarettes daily. 

The Chakr Shield team aims to reduce air pollution in Delhi-National Capital Regions, by 10 percent in the next two years. To reach their goals the team has raised over $1.5 million in equity funding and grants to enable their progress.