Chennai

An ambient air purifier for the outdoors

‘Cyclofic sucks in ambient air at a rate of 750 cubic metre per hour and sends out cleaner air.

‘Cyclofic sucks in ambient air at a rate of 750 cubic metre per hour and sends out cleaner air.   | Photo Credit: B. Velankanni Raj

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Developed by IIT-M, ‘Cyclofine’ has a four-stage filtering system and an air quality monitoring sensor

Hidden from the public eye, sits a shiny tower inside IIT-Madras’ outgate, performing a key role. The machine sucks in ambient air at a rate of 750 cubic metre per hour, filters it and sends out cleaner air.

Called the ‘Cyclofine’, it has been developed by IIT-M’s Department of Civil Engineering and EnviTran, a student start-up at the IIT-M Research Park, and removes 60% of PM10 (particulate matter of 10 microns and less).

With additional filtration, it removes 80% of PM2.5 (particulate matter of 2.5 microns and less) and 100% of PM10 from the air we breathe.

It has a four-stage filtering system and also has an air quality monitoring sensor, which provides real-time air quality index.

“We have a prototype made of stainless steel now and one made of fibre reinforced plastic is under production. These are currently designed for use outdoors and can be tailor-made to be location specific. For instance, if the PM concentration is more and is in an industrial area, the equipment can be designed like a tall tower. It can be used in pollution hot spots like traffic intersections so that the pollution levels are reduced,” explained Shiva Nagendra, professor, Department of Civil Engineering. Beijing has a large air tower that purifies air.

Trials on prototypes

They have submitted an application to patent the technology. For now, a trial for the prototype is on to measure how much of pollution there is at different distances from the road and how much is being trapped by the filters at these locations.

Ravindra Gettu, dean, Industrial Consultancy and Sponsored Research, IIT-M, said the next stage would be to manufacture the equipment on a large scale, after sufficient trials on prototypes.

“This could be through a start-up that could get CSR funds and our own incubation support. We are also presently talking to several large companies that could licence the knowhow from us and put the product on the market. Either way, this would have to be produced commercially and the Institute would get monetary benefit through royalties that could be ploughed back into further initiatives, in addition to the societal impact,” he said.

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Printable version | Dec 11, 2019 10:31:33 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/an-ambient-air-purifier-for-the-outdoors/article30001797.ece

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