IIT Kanpur, MIT USA receive historic patent for water purification and monitoring system

The device developed by the two institutes provides cost-effective clean drinking water at just Rs 2 per litre
The patented water purification vessel | Pic: IIT Kanpur
The patented water purification vessel | Pic: IIT Kanpur

The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kanpur, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), USA, have been awarded a joint Indian patent for a novel water purification device. 

The invention, which is a vessel that purifies water and monitors water quality, was developed in collaboration by Dr Indra Sekhar Sen from the Department of Earth Sciences at IIT Kanpur, and K Sri Harsha, the founder of Kritsnam Technologies and inventors Emily Barret Hanhauser (Fellow, MIT Tata Centre), Dr Rohit N Karnik (Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Associate Department Head for Education, MIT, USA), Anastasios John Hart (Professor of Mechanical Engineering, MIT, USA), Michael Bono (Postdoctoral Associate, MIT Tata Centre) and Chintan H Vaishnav (Senior Lecturer, Sloan School of Management, MIT, USA).

The device is called 'A Vessel and A Method for Purifying Water and Monitoring Quality of Water' and its USP is the fact that it is a cost-effective apparatus to check water quality. In a statement, IIT Kanpur said that given the dearth of clean drinking water for an estimated 844 million people around the world, this device is the need of the hour. "The objective is to overcome the challenges in both water availability and water quality monitoring by creating a water purification vessel technology that not only provides clean water but is also cost-effective and allows for widespread monitoring of impurities," said the institute. 

How does it go about achieving that goal then? The device is equipped with a purification vessel that employs a regenerable sorbent material that rids water of impurities that binds them in moist or dry forms. The resultant inorganic, contaminant-free water is available at a cost of just Rs 2 per litre. One of the most crucial aspects of the device is that it does not run on power and does not leave behind any residual wastewater, which means it has no maintenance cost either. It also purifies and monitors water quality through a single channel, setting it apart from other water purifying systems. 

The system can not only be used for potable drinking water, but is also applicable to the food and beverage industry, dairy products and agricultural water monitoring where contaminant-free water is necessary.

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