Bengaluru: While the cost of water purifiers for households based on Reverse Osmosis (RO) technology range from Rs 15,000 to Rs 25,000 in the market, here is a city-based M. Tech student and an aspiring biotechnology scientist who have built a low-cost water purifier that will not cost more than Rs 1500. “And yet the water that you get out of this purifier is way better than the water you get from branded purifiers,” says Rakshit Prabhakaran, a final year student pursuing his Master’s in Biotechnology at the BMS College of Engineering in Bengaluru, who has named his water purifier ‘Jal Samadhan.’
The 24-year-old had been working on this project for about a year and had conducted studies on the impurities present in water in the city. He had collected samples of water from many lakes and found out that the heavy metal content and dyes happened to contaminate the water, along with microorganisms.
He researched and then built a low-cost water purifier with a conventional bio-absorbent unit that uses sugarcane bagasse and coconut coir in their raw and activated forms, layered in a chamber of a bio-absorbent unit that became the paramount feature in his purifier as the contaminated water that passed through this chamber got purified of heavy metals, dyes and to an extent a good number of microorganisms.
To confirm this, Rakshit conducted several trial-and-error methods and tested his contaminated and purified water at state- recognized laboratories in the city and concluded with building a conventional household water purifier.
“Most of the purification action is done at the first level at the bio-absorbent loaded area. I have used two bio-absorbents - sugarcane bagasse and coconut coir and two forms of the same, both activated and in its raw forms. The bio-absorbent unit has several layers of beds, each of them measuring from one-to- one-and-a-half inches in thickness, but the technique in which it’s layered will be a secret, since it is not yet improved and patented,” Rakshit chuckles, adding that this chamber of layered bio-absorbents will purify about 15 litres of water per day, easily sufficing for a family of four at home. The bio-absorbent chamber need not be touched for about six months if the family draws water at this rate.