Editorial Team

A technology developed jointly at IIT Kanpur and IIT Bombay has proven to be a path-breaking innovation against both air pollutants and the coronavirus. The technology is named “Anti-Microbial Air Purification Technology”, since it not only purifies the air but destroys germs, as well, thereby ensuring complete protection. The technology has been tested at CSIR-IMTECH and has proven to be able to deactivate SARS-CoV-2 virus with an efficacy of 99.9% within just 1 minute.

The world is still not free from the grasp of the deadly coronavirus as there are still mutations of the virus happening at intervals. Research from leading universities of the world has found that a combination of air pollution with COVID-19 is far more severe and dangerous. When the pandemic struck, the air purifier industry also saw significant demands and changes within. But, it was difficult to achieve greater level of efficacy, while fighting the novel coronavirus. This new technology developed by AiRTH, a startup incubated at the Startup Incubation and Innovation Centre (SIIC), IIT Kanpur, has proven to be quite an effective measure in this regard. Now with the CSIR-IMTECH validation, the technology can be termed pioneering in its efforts to combat COVID.

It was Ravi Kaushik, the CEO and Founder of AiRTH, who realized the limitations in the existing purification technologies, while he was pursuing his Masters in Environmental Engineering at IIT Bombay. He nurtured his idea to shape it into AiRTH. With guidance and support from Prof. Amitabha Bandopadhyay, Professor-in-charge of the Startup Incubation and Innovation Centre, IIT Kanpur, AiRTH was incubated. The Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India, played a crucial role in testing the prototypes, with validation from trusted and respected laboratories of India like CSIR-NPL, CSIR-CDRI, amongst others.

The relatively novel technology from AiRTH is different from the other similar air purifiers in the market. Earlier generation of air purifiers that floods the market, works on the mechanism of capturing particles; however continuous over-usage of the filter medium leads to the filter itself becoming a breeding ground for germs, like a petri dish. The new technology from AiRTH makes sure that the germs are deactivated due to its plant-based coating on the filters, UV irradiations and OH (Hydroxyl) radicals. It works on a D-C-D (Deactivate-Capture-Deactivate) mechanism, which can have upto 8000 times better disinfection efficiency compared to conventional UV-based air purifiers. The technology by AiRTH deactivates airborne pathogens and viruses via inflight deactivation. It gives sufficient residence time to the contaminated air particles before optimizing the filtration and then disinfecting them.

In a recent event inaugurated by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi to mark ten successful years of BIRAC, this innovation was selected for product launch among the 75 products, in commemoration of the 75th Year of Independence. It has also been awarded the Nexus Start-up Development Grant, an initiative by the US Embassy along with a seed funding under the ‘Nidhi4covid2.0’, a special drive initiated by the National Science and Technology Entrepreneurship Development Board (NSTEDB) to support our country in fighting against the COVID-19 pandemic.

AiRTH Anti Microbial Air Purifiers are already in use in hospitals, protecting immuno-compromised cancer patients at fatal risk even from a common cold. AiRTH’s technology has helped Corporates, both Private and Government by ensuring business continuity and encouraging their employees to return to clean air offices. The technology developed by AiRTH exemplifies the vision of ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ and ‘Made in India’ initiative.

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