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Tackling corona with water mist

T V Jayan New Delhi | Updated on September 02, 2020 Published on September 02, 2020

Shashi Ranjan and Debayan Saha

Delhi-based start-up develops device to disinfect rooms, halls and malls

As malls and public places outside containment zones open up during Unlock 4.0, a Delhi-based tech start-up has come up with a device that solely uses water to disinfect closed indoors.

The device, designed by PerSapien Innovations Private Limited co-founded by two young technologists Debayan Saha and Shashi Ranjan, uses micron-sized water mist to kill viruses. The PerSapien technology exploits certain hitherto unexplored fundamental properties of water at extremely minute particle sizes and is absolutely safe, unlike ultraviolet rays and chemical disinfectants that have some adverse impact, claimed Saha.

“We have used fundamental physics to harness and super-magnify the unique properties of water which, under certain optimised conditions, can transform normal tap water into an antiviral. Micron-sized droplets are generated from this antiviral water to disperse into the environment to destroy the SARS CoV-2, the Covid-19 virus and other germs, be it in the air as aerosol or on surfaces,” said Saha.

ICMR lab certification

The device, named Airlens Minus Corona, is said to have been evaluated by a team of virologists at an Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) lab in Kolkata and was found to be effective and safe, Saha told BusinessLine.

Co-founders Saha and Ranjan were Stanford-India Biodesign fellows and the duo attracted a lot of media attention last year for designing a device that can tackle air pollution. While Saha has B Tech and M Tech degrees from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur, Ranjan is a Ph D in biomedical engineering from the National University of Singapore.

Armed with the certification from the ICMR lab on the safety and efficacy of the device, the team is getting ready for large-scale manufacture and deployment of the contraption. According to them, the device would be in two or more sizes. While the tabletop model can keep a room of normal size disinfected as long as it is switched on, a bigger version of Airlens is designed for large areas like halls and malls where a centralised air-conditioning system is functional.

Small-scale manufacturing

“We have already started small-scale manufacturing of the device. We are also in talks with some corporate houses that have existing manufacturing and marketing infrastructure so that they can be produced and deployed in the shortest possible time,” Saha said.

When asked about the price, the PerSapien co-founder said it was difficult to talk about the pricing as large-scale manufacturing is yet to be undertaken, but hoped that it should be in the region of a mid-range mobile phone. “But it needs nothing other than electricity to run it,” Saha claimed.

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Published on September 02, 2020
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