A group of student researchers in Punjab have developed an algae-based air purifier that they have claimed will not only neutralize 98 percent of the harmful gases and particulate matter in the air but also increase the amount of oxygen making indoors more breathable.
The air purifier named OX-C was jointly developed by researchers from Lovely Professional University (LPU Jalandhar) and IISER Mohali. According to the developers they got the inspiration to build an algae-based air purifier from the ongoing space research to produce oxygen in space through algae.
Naveen Luthra, head of the division of startup at Lovely Professional University, said, “There are several air purifiers available in the market, but they all work on the same or similar principle, that is, filtering out the pollutants through Carbon and HEPA filters. The powerful air purifier applies a completely new technology than what is used by the existing air purifiers in the market. The device, which 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 pc and further infuses oxygen in the filtered air.”
He added, “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 for producing energy.”
The team, including BTech students Anant Kumar Rajput and Deepak Deb, has also developed a working prototype of the product. After successfully conducting trials they have also 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,” Patil said.