Pi Green Innovation Hopes To Address Diesel Pollution With ‘CarbonCutter’

Srinjoy Bal
19 Nov 2022
12:30 PM
2 Min Read

The technology was introduced in October 2020 with devices made for gensets and chimney burners for factories

PI Green Technologies

In an effort to find an interim solution for vehicular pollution caused primarily by diesel vehicles, the cleantech company Pi Green Innovation aims to bring out its ‘carboncutter’ technology for diesel commercial vehicles. The technology debuted in October 2020 with devices made for gensets and chimney burners for factories. 

Interestingly, the patented system uses filterless technology to collect carbon particles inside the device, which can later be used as raw material for manufacturing paint, ink, and tyres.

The traditional technologies, which include filters and solvent/water, have a limited lifespan as they can either choke after a certain use. The bi-product is discharged into water bodies (usually rivers and lakes), defying the purpose of cleaning the air and transferring it as water pollution, explains Shantanu Sonaikar, Co-founder, Pi Green Innovations.

Using an electrostatic precipitator (ESP), the carbon particles from the exhaust system are trapped inside the device and are collected in a tray placed under the device. 

“The devices are attached to the tailpipe after the muffler on the diesel generator and the entire smoke is routed into the device; there are electrodes inside which charge these smoke particles that pass through them,” he added. Due to this, the charged particles either stick to the surface of the cylindrical device or start sticking to each other because of opposite polarity making the particles heavy. In both cases, the particulate matter can not escape the device, allowing only clean air to pass through the tailpipes, thus reducing emissions.

Currently, in the prototype stage, the new device is said to measure three metres long while being 15 inches wide and weighs in at nearly 100 kgs and has a 60% filtration rate with an air churning rate of 5m/s, the co-founder told Mobility Outlook. The company is engaged with two CV makers, an Indian and a Japanese, he said. 

The weight of the system and its size could be a deterrent, however, Sonaikar noted that it is possible to reduce the device’s size and enhance the filtration rate while merging it seamlessly with the vehicle itself.

Yet another reason behind the tie-ups with OEMs is to retail the product through B2B channels. While talks with the Government are also underway to retail the products. 

PI Green Technologies
Carboncutter for gensets; inset: Shantanu Sonaikar and Irfan Pathan 

The company currently has its plant in Chakan, Pune, where the ‘carboncutter’ for gensets and industrial boilers is produced at 700 units per month. He said it plans to set up another factory to produce the devices for CVs. To be set up in the country’s northern or southern region, the company estimates to invest around INR 30 crore into this plant, including robotics for manufacturing.

Sonaikar noted that as the company works on an asset-light model, there is a possibility for the company to provide the technology while the partnering OEM makes it. The funds for the factory are planned to be raised in the Series B round, which will take place in the next six months. 

During the round, the company plans to raise about INR 100 crore, out of which the remaining will go into enhancing and certifying the ‘carboncutter’ device for diesel CVs as well as taking the brand to international markets for the genset filtration devices, including Poland, Bangladesh, Indonesia and other eastern European nations.

The Co-founder noted that for the European market, the company is looking at tying up with partners to manufacture the products, while for the south Asian nations, Pi Green aims to ship the products from India.

Story So Far

Founded in the year 2016, and with its first funding in 2019 of INR 2.25 crore, the company filed for a patent for the ‘carboncutter’ technology. The technology has been patented in India, USA, China, UK, European Union & Singapore, Sonaikar claimed.  

Launched in October 2020, the company currently claims to have sold over 200 units of the ‘carboncutter’ devices for gensets to date. The device can be used in gensets ranging from 15 kVA to 2000 kVA and filters around 70% of the exhaust from the tailpipes.  

Interestingly, the device was recently granted the Type1 Approval certificate by a Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) approved lab.

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