Reasons for being in news
Recently, while restricting the use of fireworks during all events to an 8-10 pm window, the Supreme Court ordered that only crackers with reduced emission and “green crackers” can be manufactured and sold.
What are “Green crackers”?
“Green crackers” are so named because they “do not contain harmful chemicals” that would cause air pollution. Components in firecrackers are replaced with others that are “less dangerous” and “less harmful” to the atmosphere.
Tests & results
CSIR-CECRI has developed flower pots by using “eco-friendly materials” that can potentially reduce particulate matter by 40%. CSIR-NEERI is testing the efficacy of bijli crackers by “eliminating the use of ash as desiccants”. Scientists have also developed potential sound-emitting functional prototypes that do not emit sulphur dioxide, and are testing a prototype of flower pots substituting barium nitrate with an eco-friendly version.
Scientists have given these crackers names: Safe Water Releaser (SWAS), Safe Thermite Cracker (STAR) and Safe Minimal Aluminium (SAFAL). It has the unique property of releasing water vapour and/or air as dust suppressant and diluent for gaseous emissions and matching performance in sound with conventional crackers. The Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation is testing and analysing these crackers for safety and stability.
More to come
E-crackers or electric crackers are also being tested by a team from CSIR-CEERI in Pilani. However, feedback from manufacturers has not been encouraging, with some pointing out that it will sound like listening to a recording of firecrackers instead.