Translucent Fly-Ash Block
Innovate for the Society
Stage of Innovation:
We have a working prototype
Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology
India is the world’s third largest producer of coal. In India, coal-based thermal power plant installations contribute about 70 percent of the total installed capacity for power generation. However, the bituminous and sub-bituminous coals used at the thermal power plants contain more than 40 percent ash content. At present, 120-150 million tons of coal fly ash is generated by 120 existing coal-based thermal power plants in the country.
Impact of coal fly ash:
1. Fly ashes have high content of toxic/heavy metals, leading to air pollution .
2. The environment ministry’s expert panel opined that the interface between the water and fly ash at the bottom of fly ash filled void results in leaching of heavy metals into groundwater system.
3. Reduced recharging of groundwater due to fly ash filled mine voids.
4. Ash-filled voids cannot support tree species because of a poor root system development, which in turn results in uprooting of trees even by low-velocity winds.
5. A recent study by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), an NGO working on environmental issues, reveals that fly ash disposal remains a major problem with only about 50–60 percent of the total fly ash generated by the power sector being utilized.
Close to 173 million tons of fly ash was produced across India in 2013-14.
The remaining was dumped into poorly designed and maintained ash ponds, polluting land, air and water.
By 2021-22, the thermal power sector is estimated to produce 300 million tons of fly ash a year. The utilization of all the fly ash being generated is going to become even tougher.
In a controlled environment, the Humphrys field of vision device projects lights of various intensities at various distances from the eye. A user clicks a button when the light is visible to him or her. Based on the lights sensed by the user, the device diagnoses whether the person’s eye is normal or losing sight.
We have simulated that setup using a virtual reality (VR) app and headset via a Web app that records results and tabulates the details using a tactile input device to record the feedback during a test, making it similar to an actual device.
The solution—The Translucent Fly-Ash Block (TFB)—uses fly-ash as the main constituent. It has a translucency property that has many benefits.
Translucent Fly-Ash Block will help reduce the harmful impact of fly ash on the environment as well as reduce contamination of groundwater from heavy metals present in fly-ash.
In addition, the translucency of TFB enriches its aesthetic property. It also makes the construction energy efficient and enriches its architectural beauty.
Here are a few high-end applications of Translucent Fly-Ash Block:
1. It can be used to construct underground subways, metros and tunnels, among others.
2. It can be used in smart road lane separator to avoid accidents during smog (can be implemented on New Delhi highways).
3. In buildings, where trace-passing is a priority.
4. In high-security prisoners cell in place of providing skylights.
5. Temperature impact of TFB can be used to maintain optimum temperature in a building.
6. In buildings (aquaponics farm) where plants are grown using aquaponics.
7. Lighting indoor fire-escapes, in case of a power failure.
8. It can be used in a building to give a unique look from outside during the night and inside during
the day as it adds architectural aspects.
9. Its application with solar panels on the rooftop will make a building completely energy efficient.
10. It can be used in indoor international stadiums.
11. It helps reduce CO2 emission, the heat of hydration, crack problems and permeability and bleeding and increases workability.
12. It can be used in biotechnology and life science applications.
13. It can also be used in industrial warehouses and buildings.
Nobility of Innovation
1. TFB is the best way we can check the health of endangered surrounding pollution.
2. Its translucency property makes it even more unique as its use make a building an energy-efficient construction and helps in reducing energy consumption.
3. Its translucency property enhances its architectural beauty during the night.
4. As it is translucent, anyone can notice trespassing, improving safety.
5.TFB doesn’t require any outer or inner finishing, making it a more cost-effective option.
6. As it supports light transmission, it also helps in controlling temperature.
7. It improves the strength of a building over time and offers greater strength.