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CLEANTECH is not just confined to manufacturing or shop floor technologies. It has a great lot to do with the shop floor management practices, particularly the areas like house keeping, material handling, energy efficiency and waste handling. The entire concept is based on source segregation of wastes or effluent streams for specialized handling, reuse, recycling or disposal of each such stream. It would eventually lay heavy emphasis on apt deployment of separation technologies ranging from simple decantation, floatation, centrifugation, filtration, distillation, sublimation and evaporation to advance techniques like membrane technology, vacuum evaporation, freeze drying and super critical treatment.

The concept also lays heavy emphasis on energy conservation and cleaner energy options. The matrix includes switching over from coal to cleaner coal, from coal to oil, from oil to electricity, from thermal electric power to hydroelectric power. Consideration would also be paid to the forms of electrical energy like conductive use of energy vis a vis the induction and radiation based consumption. It would also pay attention to areas like waste to energy and other alternative energy options like solar power, wind energy, refuse derived power, high rate bio-methanation of wastes, along with emerging zero emission technologies like the hydrogen fuel cells.

The concept of cleaner production has to take into consideration emerging options like advanced materials like carbon fiber reinforced materials, super-conductive materials, bio-degradable plastics and cleaner solvents. Alternatives are to be assessed in terms of ultimate cost analysis based upon the total life cycle analysis. Substitution of hazardous materials, carcinogens and other chemicals of concern with benign alternative are the other essential features of CLEANTECH.

 Catalysis and Bio-processing are two distinct areas of focus under CLEANTECH. Use of advance catalysts can not only lead to enormous energy savings and processing time, but also help altering the operating temperature and pressure conditions avoiding workplace hazard in many situations. The concept has ever been in use for cost advantages in manufacturing but has not so far been deployed for effective environmental management. Similarly putting bio energy to use for more energy efficient and cost effective production has very bright prospects in acquiring eco-efficiency. Examples of bio pulping and bio bleaching in the pulp and paper industries are already in view as cleaner production options. Deployment of biotechnology in disposal of organic wastes has already acquired commendable dimensions. The fullest potential of bacteriophages as a major tool for bio-remediation is far from fullest exploitation. CLEANTECH lays focus on such emerging techniques, which could sometimes be amazingly low cost.

Minimization of wastes at source and ‘in-process recycling’ are the main features of CLEANTECH. A great amount of in-put, therefore comprises of such technologies and practices. These technologies, however, have to be essentially coupled with efficient material handling systems for effective spill control and pilfer proof recycling. Experience reveals that process control equipment like CNC and programmable logic controls invariably lead to tremendous results. An efficient dosing system for just the right quantity of a chemical could often ensure its presence in the final effluent below the detectable limits or well within the compliance norms, at the same time, ensuring phenomenal savings on cost of the chemical apart from the probable treatment and disposal costs. Whatever said above, the ultimate strength of CLEANTECH lies in the strongest hidden component of innovation. The entire concept sharply focuses itself on process re-engineering using low cost innovation to manage effluent loading, toxicity and hazard. The same principles shall hold good in case of emerging production technologies, particularly the environmentally sustainable technologies or the EST’s for future industries.