Gurugram-based cleantech start-up OxyGarden has launched a unique air sanitiser, Forest, to make indoor air breathable and reduce the impact of contaminated air on human health.
“Other electrical purifiers in the market tackle only 51 per cent of the pollutants – particulate matter. They don’t take care of the formaldehyde, benzene and other infectious viruses and bacteria present in the air. Forest covers the whole spectrum of pollutants because we have combined the properties of a purifier as well as of plants,” says Abhishek Gupta, founder, Oxygarden.
The patent-pending technology induces controlled photosynthesis in plants with the help of automated airflow and artificial light sources. It controls the transpiration in plants that are grown in an aerated medium consisting of activated charcoal, which makes it much lighter than soil.
Gupta, 27, who holds a BTech in mechanical engineering from Symbiosis in 2014, says, “All NASA-certified plants such as Areca Palm and Peace Lily are used in the sanitiser. NASA had conducted a study in 1989 to develop a natural environment in their International Space Station, and found that every plant works on a definite set of pollutants. So, we enhanced the purification capacity by controlling the photosynthesis process.”
This product is inbuilt with a water tank, UV light and an automated airflow system to regulate the transpiration rate of plants.
“We don’t use normal soil because air doesn’t penetrate through it. We use an inorganic growing media that’s a mix of eight elements. It’s much more aerated, which increases the quality of purification,” says Gupta, who along with his team of IIT students took three years to develop this air sanitiser.
Another important aspect is maintenance. Its automated soil watering system senses the level of moisture and supplies water when needed. “Once the tank is filled, it runs for a month,” he adds. It is relevant in the present times because it decreases the survival time of virus to .10 seconds to 1.5 hours.They are now are developing an affordable version for people to use at their home.