PS Group: Finding solution to marble slurry menace of Udaipur

In a recent judgment passed by the Rajasthan High Court, Chief Justice Arun Mishra said: “There are 250 marble processing units in the Sukher industrial area and they are dumping about 70 tones of slurry daily as a result of which about 700×500 meters of the valley has been ruined.”

Marble slurry dumping yard

Marble slurry is either dumped by the road side or dumped at slurry dumping yard. In both cases the slurry is open to spread through wind, surface flow of water and also penetrate the ground.  This degrades the quality of air, surface water, ground water and damages the soil of nearby areas.

                     Marble slurry dumped by the roadsise.

Despite several attempts by various agencies to develop products and find commercial applications for marble slurry, the menace of slurry continues to haunt the beauty and environment of Udaipur.

                            Marble slurry dumped illegally in residential areas.

JK Tyre conducted a study to replace carbon black in tyres by marble slurry but it was not found suitable for dynamics applications in tyre. Several attempts to replace cement and sand in mortar and concrete by marble slurry have not been very successful commercially because reaction of compounds present in marble slurry with cement and water causes efflorescence in the products like bricks, paver blocks, kerb stones, roof tiles, tree guards.

Recently a team of final year students of Civil Engineering at Techno India NJR Institute of Technology started working of innovations to develop products using marble slurry. Lokesh Puri Goswami, Kundan Gorana, Mohit Wadhwani, Harshit Jaroli, Kamlesh Kumar, Sachin Goyal under the guidance of Dr. Pankaj Porwal have developed a technology and processing method that eliminates the use of water to make these products. The team has called the brick produced using slurry Slick (Slurry Brick). The salient feature the Slick and other products is that they use molten waste plastic from bottles as binder with sand and marble slurry as filler. They also use some advanced chemical admixtures to enhance the strength of fire resistance of the final product. Use of molten plastic not only solves the problem of efflorescence but also provides a practical solution to problem of disposal of waste plastic bottles.

Brick made using marble slurry, sand and waste plastic

Preliminary tests conducted on Slick give strength close to the compressive strength of second class bricks. This idea has found acceptance at national level also. Recently, the team leader, Lokesh Puri Goswami was awarded Silver Medal by National Design and Research Forum of Institution of Engineering.

The students have also developed a full-fledged business plan for this idea. They have presented this business plan at Stupreneurs and won first prize of 45000/-. Stupreneurs is state level impact and innovation challenge program to make Rajasthan a source of innovation and start ups to positively impact our economy. An ecosystem based approach where mentors, business leaders and other professionals support and mentor such start ups.

Currently the company formed by the students, PS Group, is being incubated at Lake City Incubation Center of Techno India NJR for commercialization of marble slurry and waste plastic bottle products.