Groundbreaking ideas can come from anywhere and from anyone. This time it is a Mumbai-based team of architects and engineers who claimed to convert soot, dirt and particulate captured from polluted air into tiles.
According to the latest 2019 World Air Quality Report by IQAir, 6 of the world’s top 10 most polluted cities are from India. Although the government is taking various actions to reduce air, they are still insufficient and scattered. Scientists and researchers are also working on finding better devices to capture air pollutants. Even, to clean up the air, many industries already make use of air pollution capture technologies. However, the question arises is where do these pollutants get captured and what is the surety that these pollutants would not return into the environment?
Carbon Craft Design startup firm has found an innovative solution to capture the polluted air and transfer it into tiles. These first-of-its-kind tiles have been launched in the market on January 22. The firm was founded in 2019 by Tejas Sidnal- who did his masters from the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London.
He always looks into finding solutions to the global air pollution crisis through architectural and design interventions. After several failed experiments and attempts to make products such as facades and bricks. His initial design concepts were eventually dropped due to feasibility or design issues. Once carbon tiles have been identified as a new target, it took almost five months for the entire time to arrive with something that can be called as a revolutionary change.
The innovative Carbon Craft Design firm is working in partnership with Boston-based AIR-INK startup that is processing the air toxins and giving them with the soot to use in their innovation.
Change for Cleaner Air
This innovation seems relevant in today’s time when air pollution has become a global problem and it provides an alternative to the construction industry that is responsible for around 25-40% of the world’s carbon emissions.
These are tiles handcrafted by traditional craftspeople and each one of these tiles can clean almost 30,000 litres of dirty air, which is equivalent to one day of clean air for a person.
These carbon tiles are an amalgamation of craft, design, sustainability and technology. According to the project manager- Giriprashad K- of this company, “By using the carbon available all around us in the form of pollution, our main aim is to prevent the particulate matter from entering our lungs and natural ecosystems.”
These tiles take consume only one-fifth of the energy needed to create vitrified tiles. According to Tejas, “Instead of burning the tiles to come up with the finished product, we use a hydraulic press that helps us in manufacturing these tiles.”
The firm first removes all the harmful components and heavy metals from the soot, following which it is processed into powder and blended with materials like marble powder, marble chips, cement along with a proprietary binder. The firm has a target to use at least one ton of black carbon particles removed from the atmosphere.
How much do these carbon tiles cost?
The tiles cost around Rs 190 per square of tile used. Whereas conventional tiles take up more than 5 times more energy for production and cost between Rs 50 and Rs 1000 per square feet.
Handcrafted by the traditional craftsmen in Gujarat and Tamil Nadu, these tiles come in six monochromatic shades, ranging from white, black and four shades of grey. And they come in three sizes- 8″x8″, 10″x10″, and 12″x12″. Those who want to purchase the carbon tile have also an option to get it customized according to their needs. However, tailor-based designs you will have to pay an extra Rs 5000 to Rs 15000 for the stencil that needs to be formed mainly for such customizations.
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