Four start-ups in Tamil Nadu have tied up with the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC ) to manufacture its unique membrane-based water purifiers that do not require electricity and have the potential to replace traditional reverse osmosis (RO) plants which waste up to three times the converted water.
The start-ups are based in Madurai, Theni, Tiruppur and Chennai, with the Madurai start-up set to commence its operations soon. The other three start-ups are helmed by engineering graduates, said Daniel Chellappa, Senior Scientist (TCW), BARC, Chennai.
The start-ups will manufacture a superior Ultra Filtration membrane, in candle format, developed by BARC and make online and table-top or combo water treatment devices, Mr. Chellappa told The Hindu.
Mr. Chellappa said these water purifiers will eliminate the need for RO purifiers to get treated drinking water, for both domestic and community use. “These devices do not need electricity for operation, and there will practically be no wastage of treated water. At present, all RO devices waste about three times the treated water. This is avoided in our technology,” he said.
Under the current circumstances where there’s a severe water crisis, the technology could be a boon as wastage is extremely minimal, he said. The initial investment to get the purifier would range between Rs. 750 and Rs. 2,000 depending on the size of the purifier that varies between 20 and 40 litres. “Unlike a traditional RO system, even the cartridge need not be changed for 3-5 years and only a sponge is needed to be cleaned as it’s a candle,” he said.
These purifiers would require water treated and supplied by municipal corporations to be used. “If it is borewell water, it needs to be within the BIS standards,” Mr. Chellappa said.
The BARC has also designed a table top model that doesn’t require it to be connected to a water source, but water needs to be filled manually.
“These can be used in huts and villages where there is no direct water connection. A couple of government departments have expressed interest in this model,” he said.―The Hindu