When Arpit Dhupar and his friends floated an idea to reduce toxic diesel emissions in the capital, it appeared to be plain “idiotic” to their mentors. The idea hit them last year when they were drinking sugarcane juice at a roadside joint where the cane crusher was running on a diesel generator but its emissions couldn’t be seen. The juice vendor had attached an exhaust pipe to divert the emissions to a wall instead. “We noticed that the wall had turned black from the diesel soot and thought whether we can use this carbon? If it can colour the wall black, it can surely be utilised as paint. But the idea was thought to be impractical,” said Arpit, co-founder of Chakr.

Arpit, however, made up his mind to refine the idea.In January this year, the team of innovators registered its company, Chakr, which works mainly on extracting ink from diesel exhausts and is now exploring other applications where captured carbon can be used. It built several container designs that could catch soot directly from genset exhausts.
“Then we put them to tests to see how much carbon could actually be captured without affecting the functioning of the genset. The carbon is dissolved in a solution to make the ink,” Arpit added.