Now make pure water from thin air!

Now make pure water from thin air!
Highlights

In April 2012, at the height of summer, Mumbaikars were shocked to read about the death of a woman in a Thane village who trudged several kilometres to fetch drinking water and died from sunstroke. The incident prompted an IITian to build a device that can convert humidity in the atmosphere into water, right in our homes.

In April 2012, at the height of summer, Mumbaikars were shocked to read about the death of a woman in a Thane village who trudged several kilometres to fetch drinking water and died from sunstroke. The incident prompted an IITian to build a device that can convert humidity in the atmosphere into water, right in our homes.

Anit Asthana, a chemical engineer from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) - Delhi and an MBA from XLRI, Jamshedpur, was moved to do something about the problem of cheap drinking water, especially during the summer months and in the drought-prone regions of the country.

"After a lot of research and experiments, we have developed India's first Air-Water Generator which can 'make' pure water from the humidity in the atmosphere, right in your home," Asthana, managing director of ElectroWater Technologies Pvt. Ltd, Mumbai, told IANS.

The Air-Water Generator has already been successfully test marketed in the most rigorous conditions all over India from Mumbai to Rajasthan, Kashmir to the northeast and the coastal and mountain regions with encouraging results. It has just secured its first bulk order to supply 15,000 such generators to Jeevandeep Multipurpose Pvt.

Ltd under the centre's programme 'Nirmal Jal Abhiyan' and plans to flood the market with the products from February, as the summer sets in. Available at present in two models, with three technology patents, the Air-Water Generator (AWG) can create between nine and 30 litres of water daily depending on the average humidity of very low to high, he said.

"We are all aware that water conservation is an important issue. With India facing water shortage or contamination problems, we must explore more non-conventional ways of sourcing and utilizing water to combat scarcity and contamination," said Asthana, whose company has now tied up with industrialist Dilip Piramal, the promoters of VIP luggage.

However, the technology to produce water from the air is not new and has been around in the US, Australia, Israel and some other countries for several years. "The only problem was they don't work in very low humidity conditions, the machines are very expensive and consume a lot of power, making them beyond reach of the masses," Asthana explained.

For instance, similar machines work only with minimum 50-60 percent humidity levels, consume around two units power per litre and cost over Rs.200,000 per piece. He went about indigenizing the technology, created nearly three dozen prototypes and tested them all over India in various humidity levels, including as low as 30 percent (During the winter season, Mumbai occasionally goes down to 10 percent).

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