“Air Pollution is the most important environmental health risk of our time” as per The UN Environment Programme. Air pollution has become an invisible problem due to ignoring sustainable factor in rapid industrialisation and urbanisation. We cannot live without air for a moment and now this air is the reason for most of the health hazards. Air Pollution has always been an unwanted consequence and something very difficult to visualise from solution point-of-view.
Many concepts are in experiment and innovation zone to tackle environmental issue which can be commercially viable. Surprisingly, Tejas Sidnal, an architect from Mumbai, has managed to find a commercial solution for sustainable development with his recently founded Startup Carbon Craft Design.
Story behind the Carbon Crafts :
Tejas Sidnal, finding his deep interest in biomimicry (a method for creating solutions to human challenges by emulating designs and ideas found in nature), started research to tackle climate change issue in 2016. He found in research that the construction -industry cycle is responsible for large quantities of greenhouse gas emissions and a quarter of global waste.
Meanwhile, he came to know about Air-Ink and their innovation of being able to process air pollution into soot. Further, he got samples from the founders and utilising his knowledge and expertise of architectural design, material systems, and biomimicry to experiment with making bricks. He succeeded in making carbon brick but the idea did not see any execution.
Later he realised that for a product to be accepted in the market, the product should have a design value which was lacking in the bricks. He incorporated this in his idea and founded Carbon Craft Design in January 2019.
What is Carbon Craft Design ?
Carbon Craft Design is a design and material innovation company which started finding possible solutions for the question - Is Air Pollution only a Technological Challenge?. Now, in collaborating with Air-Ink, it is developing carbon off-setting products for the world's construction demands to mitigate Air Pollution at scale.
Its name perfectly defines what Start-Up is all about –
● Carbon – capturing or extracting carbon from polluted air
● Craft – handicraft, eco-friendly process i.e. negligible emissions
● Design – making material in which carbon can be infused, and used scalably
Collaboration with Air-Ink
Tejas realised very early that collection of air-pollution and its processing both cannot be managed at initial stage. Both process will consume much time and resources. With the lack of devices to capture pollution and resources to process, he associated with Air-Ink (an Indian Start-Up who pioneered the concept of recycling carbon emissions). The collaboration resulted in access of processed carbon soot and become instrumental in launching the Carbon Tile within a short span of time.
Carbon Tiles were launched in the market in January 2020 and it already has orders to be supplied. It features –
● Traditionally hand-crafted right from the start beginning with cutting shaping, joining, filling and lastly, forming the tile
● Consumes only 20% energy than that is required by vitrified tiles
● Production cost Rs. 190 per sq. of tile used, which ranges between Rs 50 to Rs. 1000/- for vitrified tiles
● Each tile is equivalent to cleaning 30,000 litres of air
● 1 Tile mean 1 day of clean air for a person
The Start-Up has come up with two types of tile series :
IdenTile Series - Standard Range
IdenTile is about capturing unique cultural identities of the cities and expressing our coexistence with nature. These patterns are symbolic art form of our contemporary taste with modern twist for our living space. Till now identities of Delhi, Beijing, London and New-York has been captured.
IndusTile Series - Premium Range
IndusTile express the magnitude of human consumption of natural resources and highlights the changes brought by the Anthropocene period. Hence, this series upcycles the maximum amount of particulate matter pollution. It is named by industry – Transport, Tannery, Paper, and Oil.
The Start-Up, in 2020, aims to utilise 1 tonne of black carbon particles after removing it from atmosphere. “Our ultimate vision is to be able to construct a carbon-conscious building which is made using each component derived from processing air pollutants,” says Tejas Sidnal
With the alarming level of pollution, it is of utmost important to come up with nature focussed technical solutions which are scalable and best alternative to the existing high-emission products. Carbon Tile is a fine practical example of intersection of Craft, Design and Technology with the sole aim of building scalable solutions.
Air-Pollution has been always a consequence and considered a non-usable resource. This Start-Up, with its idea of moving of carbon from air to tiles, proving this otherwise and that too on scalable basis making it a win-win situation for everyone.