IIT Kanpur develops low-cost disinfection chamber for public places

According to the Institute, the system could be easily built with commonly available raw-materials and sub-systems within 48 hours so that faster deployment is possible
Amid the coronavirus outbreak, the Indian Institute of Technology in Kanpur has developed a low-cost rapid disinfection process chamber for installation at public places, such as offices and markets.

Each chamber unit costs less than Rs 50,000 and mbe set up with locally available items, said Professor Deepu Philip of IIT Kanpur's Department of industrial and management engineering (IME).

The project was initiated by a team of faculty members from the departments of computer science, IME, biosciences and bioengineering (BSBE). “The idea was to design an innovative product, which could disinfect quickly in less than two minutes with locally available raw material,” Professor Philip added.

It combines two disinfection approaches into a cost-effective and rapid disinfection process that is safe for human beings. The process utilises two chambers -- an atomisation chamber and a thermal shock chamber.

The atomised spraying process provides for even spray of the rapidly acting disinfectant solution on to an individual’s overalls stationed within the spraying chamber. Later, the person waits outside for at least 30 seconds before being exposed to the thermal shock process in the thermal shock chamber that can maintain elevated temperatures of more than 60 degree Celsius.

The two-stage process is aimed at achieving a rate of more than 80 per cent personal disinfection within 120 seconds, allowing the processing of large number of individuals in a cost-effective way.

According to the institute, the system could be easily built with commonly available raw materials and sub-systems within 48 hours to enable faster deployment.

“In bulk manufacturing, we expect the cost per complete system to come below Rs 50,000. The system is suitable for strategic locations like hospitals, large department stores, public offices, secure installations, factories etc,” a press communiqué of IIT Kanpur said.

Meanwhile, the institute is in talks with other entities for supplying a few units, whereas the training of the local manufacturer to produce similar systems for large scale deployment is underway.

Recently, the IIT Kanpur also designed an ultra-low cost personal protection equipment (PPE) kit, which could be mass produced at less than Rs 100 per unit. It is based on a thin cylindrical rolls/pipes of polyethylene (polythene), which is non-porous and commonly used material for industrial packaging and making plastic-bags.

According to Dr Nitin Gupta of the IIT Kanpur BSBE department, the existing PPE kits were not only expensive, but not easily available in the market owing to high demand.

The production process of the PIPES kit is open source, so that a small or medium scale factory could start manufacturing in large quantities within a few days.

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