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Watch: IIT Mandi Researchers Use ‘Pollutant Diesel Emissions’ For Water Treatment

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IIT mandi uses diesel soot sponge for water treatment

Mandi- Researchers at Indian Institute of Technology Mandi have used the soot emitted by diesel engines to mop up oil and other organic pollutants from water. Their work has been recently published in the journal – Environmental Science and Pollution Research.

Although diesel engines are known to be superior to other internal combustion engines in terms of lower fuel consumption and better energy release efficiencies, they are associated with significant amounts of particulate emissions.

 The particulates largely comprise soot, which is formed in the fuel rich regions of the burning diesel jets. Increasing environmental concerns and stringent emission standards require the development of both conventional and unconventional means for reducing soot.

 Studies in this area have focused on improving the engine design and incorporating special filters and treatment units at the exhaust end of the vehicle.

Dr. Rahul Vaish, Associate Professor, School of Engineering at IIT Mandi and his research students Vishvendra Pratap Singh and Moolchand Sharma have looked at this problem from a different perspective.

They rationalized that while it is impossible to bring down soot emissions to zero, it is possible to find a use for the soot produced.

 Carbon species such as carbon nanotubes, graphene, and candle soot have shown their potential in many fields,

says Dr. Vaish,

so why not automobile soot?

It is known that carbon species can absorb various organic pollutants in water. Carbon nanotubes, filter paper, mesh films, and graphene have been used for removing oil from water. Given that the typical carbon content of soot is between 90 and 98%, the team explored the possibility of using this pollutant as an adsorbent of oil and organic contaminants in water.

 There is a rapid increase in oil and chemical leakages from oil tankers or ships and industrial accidents with expansion in oil production and transportation in the last few decades,

the authors write in their recently published paper, justifying the need for new materials to mop up oil and prevent catastrophic environmental outcomes.

 In an earlier study, Dr. Vaish used candle soot to successfully remove two cationic dyes, rhodamine B and methylene blue from water, thereby showing the possibility of organic from water thereby showing the possibility of organic chemical removal by soot. Extending this earlier work, the research team incorporated diesel exhaust soot into polymer sponges to study their capability to adsorb oil and other organic materials from water. This hydrophobic sponge showed high absorption capacity for various oils, without the need for complex pretreatments.

The researchers found that the highest oil absorption capacity was 39 g/g for engine oil. An interesting observation was that the sponges were recyclable and retained 95% efficiency even after 10 cycles.

The diesel soot impregnated sponge could also absorb pollutants like methylene blue, ciprofloxacin, and detergent from the water. This has practical implications.

Apart from oil spills, organic pollutants such as traces of dyes and detergent coming from industries and households are a major contributor to water pollution,

says Dr. Vaish.

The soot impregnated sponge can help in developing cost-effective remediation processes for common domestic and industrial pollutants. Such a development would additionally serve to repurpose automobile waste.

Campus Watch

HP Technical University Hamirpur Turned into Political Arena, Deprived of Its Autonomy: ABVP

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HPTU Hamirpur ABVP Conference

Hamirpur- The Himachal Pradesh Technical University, Hamirpur, (HPTU) has been turned into a political arena by the Himachal Pradesh Government. The Minister for Technical Education, Bikram Singh, has forgotten that this college also comes under his jurisdiction and that he is responsible for its development, said Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad unit of HPTU in a press conference organized on October 16, 2019.

The conference was addressed by President of ABVP’s HPTU unit, Suraj Jariyal, Secretary Ankita Sharma, and Robin.

The situation has worsened to such an extent that ABVP has now opened a front against its own government. Suraj termed the neglection of the college by the Minister of Technical Education as most unfortunate. He alleged the University is awaiting development for the past 10 years, however, this issue was never raised in the Legislative Assembly. The classes are being conducted in the building of a boys school. An additional fee is being charged for facilities such as computer lab, internet, and library. However, in reality, the varsity doesn’t even have its own building and campus.

The government made no provision of a budget for the university, which shameful in itself. The state government keep forming new rules for the university very frequently. These rules are of pure political interest, he said. ABVP alleged that the government is trying to fulfil its political interests through the only technical university of the state, which is why it keeps forcing new rules on the varsity.

Recently, the state government and the Department of Technical Education issued a Tughlaqi order prohibiting the university from starting new courses and making any recruitment. ABVP criticised this decision terming it a mockery of the autonomy of the university. 

Unit secretary Ankita advised the Minister for Technical Education to read the constitution of the varsity, which empowers the university to make new recruitments and start new courses anytime it wants. The university does not need to seek permission from either the government or the Minister to do so, Ankita said.

ABVP has demanded that the government should stop depriving the varsity of its autonomy, provision of a budget is made, vacant posts of regular teaching and non-teaching staff are filled up, and new courses are started at the earliest at the new campus.

The university is lacking behind in education and development due to apathetic attitude of the state government, Suraj said. ABVP warned the government that if it did not roll back its decision, then more aggressive protests would be launched. If needed, a ‘Jail Bharo’ campaign would be initiated by ABVP, he said. 

 

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1000 Himachal Students to be Part of Largest Robotics Training, Will Set Up a World Record

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World Record in Robotic Training Himachal Pradesh

Dharamshala-All India Council for Robotics & Automation (AICRA) is looking to set up a World Record in Largest Robotics Training on 19th October (Saturday), 2019 where 40,000 students will be trained Pan-India on same date and time in different cities. 

The World Record on Largest Robotics Training will be registered with Guinness World Record, Limca Book of Records and World Record India.

In Himachal Pradesh, students from various schools will become part of this international event. Approximately 1000 students will participate to set up the world record at Aadhunik Public School, Dharamshala.

Ashish Bhagoria, Managing Director, Ashnet Consulting Private Limited (Himachal Pradesh State Office – AICRA), explained that this training program will be very beneficial for the students. Through this training, students will learn about Robotics and Artificial intelligence and will get hands-on exposure in assembling and running Obstacle Avoider Robot.

The Head Office of All India Council for Robotics & Automation (AICRA) is based in New Delhi and has now started its operations in Himachal Pradesh to create an ecosystem for the growth of robotics and automation. The council works with Government, Industry and Institutions to ensure that students work in robotics labs in schools and colleges to get exposure and training on future technology, they get the latest training through experts and they get a platform to showcase their talent in championships, competitions, leagues and such events.

AICRA has also taken an initiative of supporting and incubating the technology start-up ideas of students.

The Robots and the Trainers will be provided by AICRA Head Office for conducting practical training. The program will start at 9 am and will conclude at 5 pm on 19th October 2019.

AICRA is a not-for-profit organization that works in the field of Robotics & Automation and education industry.

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St.Bede’s College Shimla Participates in HPSDMA Ralley Ahead of International Day of Disaster Risk Reduction 2019

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St Bede's College Shimla DRR Ralley

Shimla-St.Bede’s College, Shimla, on October 11, 2019, ahead of the International Disaster Risk Reduction 2019, participated in a rally organised by Himachal Pradesh State Disaster Management Authority (HPSDMA).

A statewide awareness campaign on disaster reduction was inaugurated today at Gaiety Theatre by HPSDMA. The program began with the traditional Himachali folk dance ‘Nati’, followed by a Nukkad Natak. During the campaign, a variety of events aimed at creating a resilient Himachal would be organized, informed HPSDMA.

From the Disaster Management Cell of the College, a total of 32 students and 14 teachers participated. The rally was organised to create awarness among people about natural and man-made disasters. The students of St. Bede’s had prepared posters and slogans for the rally.

The rally started at 10: 00 am from the C.T.O. , Mall Road Shimla, after its inauguration by D.C Rana, Special Secretary, Government Of Himachal Pradesh. The rally covered the entire lower bazar, the Mall Road, Scandal Point and concluded at the Gaiety Theatre.
St Bede's College Shimla DRR Ralley 2

Later, Rana enlightened students about various disasters like earthquake, flood, fire etc., and preventive measures that one should take in case of any disaster.

A quiz competition was also organized, in which students of different schools participated. The main aim of the quiz was to make students aware of various disasters and preventive measures.

After the quiz competition, videos on awareness were shown on disaster preparedness. The students and teachers also went to see the exhibition in which the medical staff threw light on the techniques used in medical emergencies like a heart attack or cardiac Arrest – CPR (Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation).

Every year, disasters caused by natural hazards affect millions of people around the world. Therefore, every year, on October 13, International Day for Disaster Reduction is celebrated to promote a global culture of risk awareness and disaster reduction by celebrating how people around the world are reducing their exposure to disasters.

This year’s theme is based on one Target of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030: ‘Substantially reduce disaster damage to critical infrastructure and disruption of services through developing resilience by 2030’.

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