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India’s hi-tech sustainable disinfectants and sanitisers

Suffering from dry, itching hands due to daily multiple washes times with chemical disinfectants and soap as protection against contact infection of COVID 19 may well be over. New-age sustainable disinfectants and sanitisers may soon bring relief from chemical ones with their side effects. A number of Indian start-ups are now armed with a range of sustainable alternatives to conventional chemical-based decontaminants that can disinfect surfaces and even microcavities.

The structures and processes which made these extraordinary achievements possible are being incorporated in the upcoming Science, Technology and Innovation Policy 2020, confirmed Prof. Ashutosh Sharma, DST Secretary. They include technologies for disinfection of the biomedical waste generated at hospitals and the use of novel nanomaterials and chemical process innovations for long-lasting and safe sterilisation of the recurrent use surfaces.

Safe disinfection and sanitisation technologies have come from 10 companies supported by the Centre for Augmenting WAR with COVID-19 Health Crisis (CAWACH), an initiative by the National Science & Technology Entrepreneurship Development Board (NSTEDB), Department of Science and Technology (DST) implemented by Society for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (SINE), IIT Bombay.

A Mumbai based start-up, with expertise in treating complex polluted water and wastewater, modified their technology to design and develop a system, VAJRA, for space and equipment disinfection to fight COVID 19 contamination. The VAJRA KE Series incorporates a disinfection system consisting of a multistage disinfection process by incorporating electrostatic discharge that generates ozone and the powerful sterilising effects of UVC light spectrum. Advanced oxidation, electrostatic discharge and UVC light spectrum are deployed to inactivate the viruses, bacteria, and other microbial strains present on the PPE. This saves costs by making the PPE, medical and nonmedical gear reusable.

Coimbatore based purification company offers advanced sterilisation solutions. It is using environmentally-sound micro-cavity plasma technology. This novel technology, where the disinfectant is produced directly from air or oxygen, offers a sustainable alternative to conventional chemical-based decontamination. The Complete Sterilisation by Microplasma Oxidation (COSMO) system can rapidly disinfect Covid-19 infected areas, including quarantine facilities, ambulatory care, and equipment surfaces. This innovative micro-plasma sterilisation system offers compact and scalable modular units which are robust, flexible, and energy-efficient.

The disinfectant is produced on-site, thereby eliminating the transport, storage, and handling of hazardous chemicals. These decontamination systems are 10 times less than the conventional system of equivalent capacity, making it suitable for resource constraint environments. Their advanced sterilisation systems surpass hypochlorite and other traditional disinfectants in its ability to neutralise multi-drug resistant pathogens. The company has already provided customised solutions to hospitals and healthcare settings to sterilise selective critical care areas. They have also taken this innovation to vulnerable communities. Presently their advanced integrated micro-plasma oxidation system for rapid sterilisation has been fully developed and tested rigorously for commercial use.

A mechanical hand sanitising dispenser machine which quantifies the steps of hand sanitisation through touchless, real-time monitoring via dashboard is offered by a Chennai based startup. A bio-solution company from Pune has developed silver nanoparticles based on non-alcoholic liquid sanitiser. Their technology pending for patent also inhibits the RNA replication activity – preventing the spread of the virus and blocks surface glycoproteins – making the virus ineffective.

An instant microwave-based handheld steriliser ATULYA and a microwave-assisted cold sterilisation device OPTIMASER for hazardous biomedical waste disinfection and making linen and PPE reusable is the offering from Lucknow based Maser Technology.

OPTIMASER is microwave-assisted cold sterilisation superior technological advancement over the conventional Autoclave. It allows for disinfection and sterilisation of the PPE Kits and the masks to ensure the 100 reusabilities, ensuring the cost-effectiveness. ATULYA is an Instant Microwave based handheld steriliser which offers the cutting edge over the UV tube-based steriliser, sanitising sprays and all the possible methods of sterilisation & protection.

Incubators like SINE IIT Bombay FIIT, IIT Delhi, SIIC, IIT Kanpur, HTIC, IIT Madras, Venture Centre, Pune, IKP Knowledge Park, Hyderabad, KIIT-TBI, Bhubaneswar provided timely advice on technical progress, guided the startups to follow all necessary guidelines, signing of MoUs, etc.

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