Modi met Delhi man whose innovation can be gamechanger for air pollution

A portable and cost-effective machine, innovated by India's Vidyut Mohan, is being pitched as a big part of the potential solution to endemic air pollution in Indian cities, particularly capital Delhi

Nov 07, 2021
Image
Modi met Delhi man whose innovation can be gamechanger for air pollution

A portable and cost-effective machine, innovated by India's Vidyut Mohan, is being pitched as a big part of the potential solution to endemic air pollution in Indian cities, particularly capital Delhi.  Prime Minister Narendra Modi met Vidyut Mohan, a Delhi-based mechanical engineer in Scotland's Glasgow, during his two-day trip to attend the Climate Change Summit organised by the United Nations, officials said. 

Vidyut Mohan, 30, often fell ill or witnessed his grandmother falling sick due to Delhi's toxic air. He decided to work in the space of clean air solutions and his invention won the Earthshot Prize. The innovation is a small-scale, tractor mountable equipment which can convert tonnes of agricultural waste into renewable fuel and fertilisers. The decentralised equipment can convert rice straws, coconut shells to create energy. The machine uses the principle of a coffee roaster. Waste roasted in controlled temperatures can produce fuel, fertilisers, and other products for use in agricultural land. The equipment was piloted in Uttarakhand and is now being tested at multiple locations. The technology which reduces carbon emissions by up to 98%, can help improve air quality and can also create jobs, NDTV said. 

The Earthshot Prize is designed to incentivise change and help to repair the planet.  Five, one million-pound prizes - funded by the Duke of Cambridge's Royal Foundation of UK - will beawarded each year for the next ten years, providing at least 50 solutions to the world’s greatest environmental problems by 2030.

 Vidyut Mohan, founder of Takachar.com, hopes his brief meeting with Modi will translate into a partnership with the government to take the innovation to a large scale. "My meeting with Prime Minister Modi was short, only two minutes long. Within which he curiously wanted to know about the machine, how it works, how farmers received it and particularly wanted to know where and how we are manufacturing it. He was just so curious. Our aim is to scale this solution as asap. We cannot do this alone and the government can play a big role and private corporations can work with us so that sustainability in the value chain can be brought about." Mohan told journalists.

 Globally, $120 billion worth of agricultural waste is produced each year. Most farmers in India's agriculture-driven economy believe that burning the waste is the most cost-effective way to clear land for new plantations. According to the World Health Organisation, agricultural lands set ablaze lead to air pollution that kills 7 million people a year. It also is the largest source of black carbon, a threat to both human health and one that can expedite the melting of Himalayan glaciers. 

India recently pledged to reach net-zero by 2070 at the COP26 summit as a nation.