When Technology Paves Way for Greener Earth


The road to technovation and digitalisation is not always a bed of roses. We often find groups of environmentalists and green activists raising slogans against new technology in the name of protecting nature. For them, we have great news. We have gathered some innovations that can help mother earth breathe and live a sustainable life. Let’s walk down the lane where technology has become the tool to tackle environment concerns and inspire some young techies to do the same.

Converting crowd into power

If you hate a crowded place that sees thousands of footsteps falling on the ground, read about this energy floor. While most of us usually avoid the rush on railway stations, a young engineer from Nagpur, Mandar Tulankar figured out a way to generate electricity out of it. He has designed an energy floor based on the principle of piezoelectricity where every footstep generates about 10 W of energy. One such energy floor has been installed at Nagpur Junction Railway Station to obtain power from the footsteps. He has his own company – Zero Point Energy Pvt. Ltd. that manufactures piezoelectric energy floors.

Drive your car with waste cooking oil

What do you do with the large amount of waste cooking oil generated on a daily basis? This oil can now be used to run diesel engines, thanks to students of IIT Delhi. They made a machine that can convert waste cooking oil into biodiesel. The device is the size of a washing machine and converts waste cooking oil into biodiesel within an hour. The technology is simple, cheap and can also use oilseeds, algae oil and jatropha oil to produce biodiesel.

Low-cost dirt detector for public places

Researchers at IIT Kharagpur came up with a low-cost dirt detector which records the level of ammonia, sulphur dioxide, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, volatile organic compounds and particulate matters with the help of sensors. It can also send online alerts to stakeholders when pollutants cross a threshold. This smart hygiene monitor (SHM) can be used in public facilities like hospitals, public toilets, railway stations and airports to maintain hygiene.

Get water in exchange for plastic

Swachch Machine is the outcome of a collaboration between two former IIT Bombay students and Trestor- a Chandigarh based start-up. The machine takes your recyclable plastic and rewards you with a digital value token which can be used to get 300ml of clean drinking water. The plastic container gets processed and typically crushed to reduce its size to increase storage capacity. Re-fillable containers are collected and sorted are given back to the bottling companies for recycling.

Plastics can make filament for 3D printers

We can reuse plastic bottles but what if they start leaking? Now they can be recycled to make filament for your 3D printer. Bristol based company Omnidynamics is converting recyclable plastic into filament for 3D printers. They call it Strooder technology which allows the user to transform plastic water bottles into 3D printer filaments.