Student researchers from IISER and LPU, Mohali, today announced that they have jointly developed an algae-based room air purifier that will not only neutralize 98% of the harmful gasses and particulate matter in the air but will also increase the amount of oxygen making indoors more breathable.
Algae has been used as microbes in algae conduct photosynthesis and using sunshine, water and carbon dioxide can produce oxygen making the air more breathable.
The research was conducted by Ravneet Yadav, a Ph.D. scholar from Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research (IISER); Anant Kumar Rajput and Deepak Deb, both B. Tech third year students at Lovely Professional University (LPU).
They were guided by Division of Startup, LPU and Dr Sunila A Patil, Assistant Professor, IISER Mohali.
According to a statement from the LPU, the air purifier applies a completely new technology than what is used by the existing air purifiers in the market.
The device, which according to the statement, uses an in-built container filled with marine algae, decontaminates the indoor air and effectively removes toxic industrial gases like carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides and Sulphur oxides with an impeccable success rate of over 98% and further infuses oxygen in the filtered air.
This innovative air purifier produces biomass as the byproduct of the photosynthesis process which can further be sold to industries like Bio Development products, FMCG and Pharmaceuticals at Rs. 800/kg for producing energy, the statement said.
The student's got the inspiration to build an algae-based air purifier from the ongoing space research to produce oxygen in space through algae.
The team has also developed a working prototype of the product and successfully conducted trials.
They have filed for the patent and are now in discussion with industry experts for its commercialization. The product, OX- C and its higher version OX- C 2.0 are expected to be commercialized by September 2020 and will cost about Rs. 18,000 and Rs. 25,000 respectively.
The team is now working on algae-based face masks which they expect to develop by mid of 2020.
Naveen Luthra, Head - Division of Startup at Lovely Professional University said, "There are several air purifiers available in the market, but they all work on same or similar principle, that is, filtering out the pollutants through Carbon and HEPA filters. What makes us happy is the initiative taken by our students to come up with an alternative technology to solve this problem. The product is already on its way to commercialization and it will be a proud moment when this purifier hits the market."
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