Beijing: Chinese revellers may have the hard choice of deciding between protecting the environment or protecting tradition as they prepare fireworks displays for the upcoming Spring Festival, which falls Feb 19 this year. But a man from central China's Henan Province has devised a non-polluting firecracker that could allow them to do both.
Wang Xinming, an oil company employee, created the firecracker to help people protect the environment and enjoy the festive atmosphere at the same time.
"My invention is not powered by explosives or electricity," Xinhua news agency quoted 29-year-old Wang as saying
Approved for patent in July, the firecracker uses a closed cavity which can be injected with air. Users then just need to press a button and the closed cavity will immediately open a small hole, through which compressed air will discharge and produce an explosive sound.
It is more beautiful than normal firecrackers. If customers need, the firecracker can emit water mist and even fragrance, Wang said.
Chinese people traditionally light firecrackers and fireworks during the Spring Festival or Chinese Lunar New Year, based on the superstition that the noise will fend off evil spirits and bad luck.
However, this tradition has been blamed for dust, sulphur dioxide and lingering smog in recent years.
"My firecracker is safe and environmentally friendly," Wang said. Although the invention has not been mass produced, Wang sees great potential in the market.
It is mainly produced from plastic. With the manufacturing cost reaching about 150 yuan per unit (about $25), the selling price may be higher. But it can be reused, Wang said.
"Some ways of celebrating festivals may have a drastic impact on our environment. If Wang's invention can be mass produced, it's another way for us to fight smog," said Chen Ying, a research fellow at the Institute for Urban and Environmental Studies under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.