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DPS Sharjah student Rishi Bhatnagar has made a device to control and monitor pollution from vehicle exhaust while generating electricity. Photo: Ahmed Ramzan/ Gulf News Reporter: Faisal Masudi/ Gulf News Image Credit:

Sharjah: A student of Delhi Private School Sharjah (DPS Sharjah) has made a smart device to reduce and monitor pollution from vehicle exhausts after seeing the smog in his home city of New Delhi, India.

Grade 11 student Rishi Bhatnagar said his pipe-like device, which fits at the end of the exhaust, can also generate electricity, which can be supplied to the vehicle’s battery and used to power a communication system that will send exhaust readings to a smart app.

Rishi, 16, plans to test his prototype, called ‘Engine Fumes Absorber and Electricity Generator’, in DPS Sharjah school buses within three months. Tests on his father’s car showed around a 95 per cent reduction in carbon-monoxide, a main pollutant from vehicle exhaust, using filters in the device, he said.

Rishi added that he has applied for a patent with the World Intellectual Property Organisation and India’s Ministry of Commerce and Industry. Both applications are under process, he said.

“In Delhi, air pollution is a big problem, a lot of people are falling ill. When I saw that, I wanted to design a product that can absorb smoke from cars and produce electricity at the same time,” Rishi said.

He added: “We, the youth, can create great changes in our country. I thought to myself, what can I do as a citizen to contribute to solving pollution. I’m definitely happy I decided to make this device.”

Rishi has also designed a GSM module that will beam readings from the exhaust to a smart app.

“By making the device ‘smart’, you can look at your mobile to see how much smoke is emitted from the vehicle, which authorities or fleet managers can use to see how good the vehicle is. For example, if the tire pressure is too low or if the engine is not working properly, there will be more smoke coming out as the engine has to push harder. That will tell you something’s wrong and you can have the car checked.”

He added that there is an acceptable exhaust pressure reading for each type of car – the device will flag up if the difference between the expected and actual pressure is too much, indicating a problem.

According to Rishi, the device, when produced in bulk to achieve “economy of scale”, will only cost around Dh45 per unit to install.

“My major concern was, would the cost be too high. But I worked out the numbers, and the cost would be considerably low… It takes a lot of time to build a prototype, it’s trial and error; there are always drawbacks,” he said.

The manufacturing of the prototype was done at a workshop in Ajman, under his supervision.

Rishi, who enjoys cycling and martial arts, wants to study mechanical engineering at university and work as a Research and Development scientist one day.

How it works

Device, made of galvanised iron, is fitted at the end of vehicle’s exhaust pipe

15 layers of filters, including those made from activated carbon, absorb pollutants like carbon-monoxide from exhaust smoke

Two plates use the temperature difference between inside and outside of exhaust to generate electricity, in a process similar to thermoelectric generators

Electricity powers a GMS communication module, similar to mobile phones, which sends exhaust readings to smart app