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Green technologies are the technologies that have arisen during the last two decades in an effort to minimize the damage to the environment. For example: the coal fired power plants, petrochemical industry, automobile industry, pulp and paper industry, textiles industry have all added to the overall well being of mankind, however, in an effort to join the race with industrialized countries, we have not paid attention to the effects of these industries which are detrimental to the environment. Industrialized nations became aware of these environmental concerns in early stages of their development, however developing countries like ours, overlooked about the damaging aspects of these industries. In the last 10-15 years, many scientists and NGOs have raised awareness about the damages that industrialization has caused to our environment and from time to time also suggested some corrective measures very much required at this point of time. Some causes of the damage to the environment lies in the legislating and the regulating agencies of the country. The social awareness has already put our industry on the defensive. But due to the lack of availability of the green technologies in the country, our industrialists are at a loss to opt for the alternatives. So, all the seven Indian Institute of Technologies and IISc have made an effort to address these issues by proposing the remedial measures and various aspects of the green technologies that will promote healthy industrialization in the country. The projects proposed can be broadly classified into following categories:

Agricultural related practices and food processing

The use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides had played a very important role in the first green revolution in our country. The increased use of the chemical fertilizers and pesticides improved the yield and the productivity of the farm produce manifold over the last 3-4 decades. However, it resulted in overdrawing the micro-nutrients of soil and increasing the alkalinity of the sub-soil layer in the country. We have reached the plateau in terms of productivity and yield. The excessive use of the chemical fertilizers and pesticides have seeped into our water bodies and thus contaminating our water reserves. Therefore few projects have been suggested to substitute/utilize environment friendly fertilizers and pesticides.

Though we have achieved self-sufficiency in the production of cereals, vegetables and fruits in the country, these produce are not able to reach at reasonable cost to the common man due to spoilage. Even sometimes the farmers producing the crops are not able to get reasonable returns for their hard work. So, several technologies have been suggested to help the processing and storage of food items near its place of growth and production to lengthen the shelf life of these food items.

Recycling of waste water and producing potable water

The industrialization in the country has taken a heavy toll in using a large percentage of available fresh water without worrying its long-range consequences. For example utilization of fresh water in pulp and paper industry, textiles, leather industry and chemical industry has been very heavy. These industries have not put in place technologies to recycle the waste water they produce. Therefore it is high time waste water technologies coupled with membrane based separation technologies may be used in these industries to recycle the waste water within their own industries to reduce the dependence on fresh water utilization to 10-20% of what they are using today. These projects would address this issue of waste water recycling in the industry. Since some of our underground water bodies have got contaminated with pesticides and heavy metals, it is high time that ground water may also be treated before it is used for drinking purposes. Some technologies are proposed to address these issues.

Renewable energy resources

The alternative ways to our dependence on hydrocarbon based non-renewable energy sources have been proposed by the way of production of hydrogen energy and storage. There is a proposal to enhance alcohol production which may be used as supplement to the petrol used to run the vehicles. Renewable energy is also required for day to day operation of home appliances, in particular, for communication, info-entertainment and illumination.

Biodegradable materials

The polymers and chemical intermediates produced by using high temperature and pressure processes result in making of the materials that are non-biodegradable and harmful ecologically. Many technologies based on recyclable and renewable materials like bamboo, sugarcane fibres, rice husk, etc can be used for making useful construction materials and biodegradable polymers to replace existing ones.

Industrial Biotechnology

Biotechnology based on environment friendly microbial systems can carry out bio-conversions without producing industrial waste. Several proposals are suggested to improve our competitiveness in production of fine chemicals like enzymes, biosurfactants and dyes that can be very useful to establish a new industrial base.

Pollution free engineering processes

To bring about a change in mindset in the industry, some projects have been suggested to replace the existing methodologies for example welding, plating, utilization of rubber for making construction material, alternate routes for making chemicals, utilization of silica/clay for rubber industry.



The environmental and climate problems are widely acknowledged as serious problems facing the world today both locally and globally. Therefore, green technologies and ecological sustainable development is need of the hour because the quality of life is deteriorating and the amount of life sustaining resources, human needs, the way we use them and the waste produced is having a negative impact on nature. In the new millennium, people around the world are championing for the need of a positive and profound change that will take us towards a sustainable future. Although we have had major advances in technology, but at the same time have caused depletion of natural life sustaining resources specially clean air and water. These problems are causing significant environmental, economic and social damage on a worldwide scale.

The answer lies in the green technologies which increasingly use renewable resources; reduce wastes, pollutants, emissions; recover, reuse and recycle; reduce the pressure on natural resources and restore the balance of the eco-system and biosphere and ultimately help in providing "ecologically sustainable development". These technologies are, therefore, viable, cost-effective, environmentally superior and most suitable to the climatic, economical, geographical, ecological and social conditions of the country.