Good ideas, if doggedly held on to, often strike roots and grow into unassailable oaks. A group of young researchers from CSIR-Central Scientific Instruments Organisation (CSIR-CSIO), Chandigarh, have worked for seven long years to develop an indigenous, lost cost air-assisted electrostatic spraying technology for dust mitigation and smog control.

This technology uses electrostatic field to generate charged spray droplets which recombine with naturally occurring oppositely charged dust and smog particles and settle down onto the ground very efficiently and effectively.

CSIR-CSIO has been working in advanced electrostatic spraying technologies for more than 7 years particularly on technologies for societal, farmer’s welfare, and industrial benefits and came up with an air-assisted efficient pesticide electrostatic spraying technology. This is different from the conventional spraying technologies as it can control the excessive use of pesticides by reducing the droplet size and ensuring even distribution of spray. Transferred to M/s Dashmesh Industries, Alwar, Rajasthan, the product is available in the market for the end user by a brand name eSPRAY and being used in India as well as overseas.

The multidisciplinary facet of electrostatic spraying technology has now become a major tool to seek more proactive approaches to remove barriers and bring solutions for a varied range of societal, environmental & industrial problems, and add benefits to nutrition, food safety and farmer’s welfare.

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After successful demonstration of the pesticide spraying technology, the researchers at CSIO have used the same principles to develop an electrostatic spraying based multipurpose dust mitigation technology especially for smog control of metro cities– a major challenge that has emerged in the recent past.

The field and laboratory trials of the dust mitigation device are in progress. Soon, the device will be deployed at field scale for commercialization.

Dr Manoj K. Patel, scientist and principal investigator of the project said, “Suppression of dust is very much necessary to live a healthy life and protect us from communicable diseases like Asthma, T.B, and other airborne diseases. Moreover, dust also creates hindrance in the operation of machinery and industries, so it becomes inevitable to suppress the dust and foreign particles in the working environment”.

Adding further to the benefits of this technology, Prof. R K Sinha, Director, CSIR-CSIO, Chandigarh said “We have a dedicated department to work on technologies for agriculture, environment and societal problems and committed to fulfilling the basic human needs through technological interventions. The technologies developed in the field of electrostatic spraying have great socioeconomic impacts which are directly linked to our farmers and the common man.”

The team of young and enthusiastic scientists, technologists and research scholars from CSIR-CSIO has received several accolades for their pesticide spraying technology.

The technology has already been well received among the scientific fraternity of the country. For this societal innovation, Dr Manoj Kumar Patel, scientist, CSIR-CSIO and his team has been awarded NRDC National Societal Innovation Award 2017 at Vigyan Bhawan on National Technology Day. Dr Patel has also been awarded Gandhian Young Technological Innovation Award 2016 by SRISTI and NIF at Rashtrapati Bhawan.

The widespread applications of such developed technologies in various sectors would contribute largely to ‘Make in India’ and ‘Swachh Bharat’ campaign both by cleaning up our cities and our agriculture and help us move towards a cleaner and greener tomorrow.

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