GATE 2024: Data science and Artificial Intelligence sample paper released
KSET Recruitment Exam 2023: Exam postponed to December 31
Bridging Borders: How UGC is Facilitating Global Universities to Set Up Campuses in India
IIM Lucknow Noida Campus Inviting Application for IPMX; apply now
Uttar Pradesh Govt Takes Firm Action on Unregistered Schools
Advancements in Biomedical Applications: A Leap Forward with Modified Graphene Oxide at IIT Guwahati
AYUSH NEET PG 2023: Round 3 counselling starts
AIBE 18: Exam postponed to December 10; apply by Nov 16
AISSEE 2024: Registration process begins for students from Class 6 to 9
QS Asia University Rankings 2024: India’s Rising Influence; Highlights and Everything you need to know
Friday, Dec, 2023
Home / IIT Madras Leads the Way with User-Friendly Heavy Metal Detectors for Soil and Water
IIT Madras Leads the Way with User-Friendly Heavy Metal Detectors for Soil and Water
This innovation holds promise for safeguarding public health and environmental integrity, particularly in rural areas.
by Pragti Sharma / 21 Sep 2023 19:15 PM IST / 0 Comment(s) / 82
Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT Madras) are addressing environmental contamination by developing a portable, user-friendly tool capable of detecting heavy metals in soil and water. This innovation holds promise for safeguarding public health and environmental integrity, particularly in rural areas.
The Challenge of Detecting Heavy Metals
One of the prime challenges in protecting public health and the environment is the lack of immediate, efficient, and user-friendly tools for detecting contamination. Current techniques, such as 'Inductively Coupled Plasma-Optical Emission Spectroscopy' (ICP-OES), require sophisticated laboratories and complex procedures, making them inaccessible to everyday users.
The Breakthrough Innovation
IIT Madras researchers have applied for a provisional patent for their 'Polymeric thin film-based heavy transition metal detector.' This innovation aims to provide a tool that can be operated by individuals without scientific training, enabling them to assess soil and water quality.
Addressing Environmental and Agricultural Challenges
Rural areas in India, numbering over 36,000, according to the Union Ministry of Jal Shakti, are vulnerable to water sources contaminated by heavy metals and other pollutants like fluoride and arsenic. Additionally, increased soil salinity due to heavy metal presence negatively impacts global food security by reducing crop yields.
The Importance of Agricultural Technology
Dr. Sreeram K Kalpathy, Associate Professor in the Department of Metallurgical and Materials Engineering at IIT Madras, emphasized the significance of developing technology to detect and measure heavy metal concentrations, especially in a country like India heavily reliant on agriculture.
Equipping Farmers with Vital Information
The research team's goal is to provide farmers with essential information about soil and water quality, enabling them to make informed decisions about crop cultivation and interventions in cases of heavy metal contamination.
How the Technology Works
Dr. Tiju Thomas, one of the project's directors, explained that the technology functions by adsorbing metal ions onto thin polymer films in the water sample or soil wash water. The results are identified using a calibrated database by measuring infrared spectroscopic signals.
Advantages of the Innovation
Project Scientist Vidhya KV highlighted the scientific novelty and minimal sample preparation efforts of this technology compared to traditional techniques like ICP-OES.
Validation and Field Testing
The research team has conducted tests on water samples from various temple tanks in Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu, in collaboration with the Rural Technology Action Group at IIT Madras. They are also conducting validation tests with diverse local and non-local soil and water samples.
Pioneering a Sustainable Future
With this cutting-edge development, IIT Madras aims to contribute to a sustainable future where environmental protection and agriculture, can coexist without compromising human health.