This Start-Up Produces Clean, Drinkable Water Out Of Thin Air
Clean technology is all the rage right now, thanks to a deepening concern for climate change. The industry is rapidly expanding as start-ups continue to innovate novel solutions for various environmental problems. According to Business Insider, the renewable energy sector is expected to grow to $1.9 trillion by 2030 as the race against time rages on.
One start-up called Uravu Labs has come up with a potentially game-changing idea: creating sustainable water out of thin air. Based in Bangalore, founders Swapnil Shrivatstav and Venkatesh R were inspired by the water crisis that has been sweeping India over the past couple 0f years. The south Asian country currently faces a shortage of safe drinking water as groundwater, which represents 85% of drinking water in rural areas.
Shrivastav and Venkatesh met in college and began working on a machine that could convert the air into sustainable drinking water. While this is technically not a new concept, their method of creating water from the air looks to reduce the amount of electricity that is typically required. Shrivastav says that conventional technology uses almost four units of electricity to make one liter of water, which can cost as much as 40 rupees.
Uravu Labs, however, uses desiccant-based technology that is powered by solar energy and industry-based waste heat, removing the electricity component from the process. The goal is to produce water from the air using their moisture-absorbing apparatus and to sell it at the same price point as Bisleri, which is popular mineral water bottled brand in India.
Uravu Labs produces 20 to 100 liters of water per day via air extractions, and their water is priced at six rupees per liter, which is pretty similar to Bisleri’s pricing. That price will eventually go down as the company scales up—Shrivastav estimates that at an industrial scale, that is, 2,000 to 10,000 liters per day, the cost will come down to just two or two and a half rupees per liter.
Shrivastav and Venkatesh are also targeting the beverage industry, hoping that they could serve as the main supplier of usable water for big corporations.
“Overall, the beverage industry withdraws more than 1,500 billion liters of water on an annual basis, which is equivalent to 20% of human drinking water needs on an annual basis,” says Shrivastav. “More than 45% of this 1,500 billion liters is coming from groundwater, which takes around 1,400 years to replenish.”
In comparison, water vapor is naturally replenished via the Earth’s water cycle in just eight to 10 days. Uravu Labs hopes that companies like AB InBev, Coca-Cola, and Kirin H0ldings make the switch to water vapour from groundwater using their pilot technology so that they can bring their carbon footprint to zero,
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