Entrepreneurs are pursuing applications in solving existing problems in society by exploring the untapped potential. Through their initiatives, entrepreneurs are addressing unmet needs of the community which are often serious but are overlooked. One such scenario is the deteriorating air quality of Delhi. The overall quality index recorded(OQI) earlier this week was 251. An OQI of 201-300 is considered poor.
Realising the need for an affordable solution to counter spiked pollution levels in the country, former students - Tushar Vyas, Jatin Kewlani, Sanjeev Jain and faculty members - Ashwini Agrawal and Manjeet Jassal from IIT-Delhi founded startup NanoClean. The startup has come up with an innovative solution - an alternative to anti-pollution masks – Naso Filter. The miniature respiratory mask has been designed and developed using nanotechnology to combat harmful pollutants in the atmosphere.
The dual-layer wire mesh made up of nano fibres in this mask is capable of filtering aerosols up to PM 2.5 in size and prevent them from entering the respiratory tract through the nose.
While PM 10 usually gets stuck in the nasal hair, PM 2.5 is the size of particulate matter capable of penetrating the farthest into the body entering the lungs and eventually in the bloodstream raising the risk of multiple health conditions including respiratory infections, heart disease, stroke, lung cancer.
Unlike a face mask, which covers the entire face, the wire mesh is transparent and quite inconspicuous and is capable of obstructing the entry of both PM 2.5 and PM 10 significantly.
IIT graduate Kewlani said
The mesh blocks PM (Particulate Matter) 2.5 by 95% without affecting air circulation. It lets in ample light and keeps mosquitoes at bay. The screen also blocks UV rays. One of the biggest drawbacks of respiratory masks is they are prone to leakage. Also, their composition is such that over time we inhale our own stale breath due to multiple layers of filters. Besides, you are stared at.
These nasal strips are priced at Rs. 10 and are available in three sizes. The Band-Aid-like strip can be pasted at the entrance of the nasal cavity. The peripheral parts can be peeled away.
Cleantech startups which are making a difference
Incepted in 2015, Nirvana Being provides a range of innovative anti-pollution products. It has created a multilayered mask - Vogmask, air quality monitoring tool - Laser Egg, car air purifier - PuraCar and room air purifier - Airgle. Estimated annual revenue of the company is $1.2 million.
Another firm, Bonphul Air Products manufactures indoor air products and has developed oxygen optimisers- Oxy Max which can increase the oxygen level and improve air quality.