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India studying advanced building materials, wastewater treatment to reduce CO2 footprint

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India's Department of Scientific & Industrial Research (DSIR) has partnered with The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) to drive advancements in the country's construction and wastewater treatment sectors, the government announced.

The department, which falls under the purview of Ministry of Science and Technology, has awarded two research studies to TERI to bridge the information gap on advanced building materials and building design for achieving energy efficiency and to make a status and scoping report on membrane-based sewage wastewater treatment systems for reuse and recycling.

In a release, the government said the collaboration was part of attempts to align DSIR's "Access to Knowledge for Technology Development and Dissemination (A2K+) Studies" Scheme with India's Smart Cities Mission and its commitment to becoming a net-zero emitter by 2070.

TERI says its building program looks to develop innovative, integrated, and cost-effective solutions for mainstreaming sustainability principles in the building construction industry, with a "path toward achieving low-carbon and net-zero buildings of the future".

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Towards, this, a DSIR-TERI meeting was held with key decision-makers, bringing together experts from the academia, industry and policy domains in New Delhi.

The first session, which focused on enabling access to emerging technologies and innovative solutions for advanced building design to enhance energy efficiency, featured perspectives on progressing energy-efficient building design and sustainable construction practices, laying the groundwork for inventive solutions in India's construction sector.

Dr Sujata Chaklanobis, Scientist 'G' and Head A2K+ Studies, DSIR, stressed on the need to promote industrial research for indigenous technology development, promotion, utilization, and transfer. She emphasized the need to have study reports on important issues regarding sustainability and inclusivity.

Sanjay Seth, Senior Director of the Sustainable Infrastructure Programme at The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), told the meeting, "India's commitment to carbon neutrality by 2070 emphasizes the crucial need for substantial reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, particularly from the building sector. Achieving this ambitious goal hinges on the imperative integration of cutting-edge technologies and design within buildings, a key strategy to significantly curtail energy consumption and propel us toward a sustainable, low-carbon future."

The second session, moderated by Dr. Banwari Lal, Senior Director, TERI, highlighted the current status of membrane technologies in India for sewage treatment, with academics highlighting the gaps and opportunities for research of membrane-based technologies, and its commercialization to treat and reuse wastewater, while industrial experts provided a snapshot of the current market and available opportunities.

Speaking earlier, Dr. Banwari Lal, told the audience, "Membrane technology, a favorite choice in the water treatment landscape, emerges as a vital solution for reclaiming water from diverse wastewater streams. As the need for water reuse intensifies, the treatment of sewage water becomes not just a necessity but a strategic imperative to meet growing water demands sustainably." 

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