COIMBATORE: A 35-year-old innovation enthusiast in the city, who introduced water as an alternative fuel for bikes and developed disinfectant drones, automatic sanitiser dispenser, and face mask burner, has come up with his latest innovation -- portable oxygen concentrator.
R Yuveraju, an aeronautical engineer, did research on the technology for three months and took help from experts in the industry to successfully design the oxygen concentrator. He said he was inspired to develop the utility upon seeing the struggle of relatives and others who had to run from pillar to post for getting oxygen concentrators to save lives during the Covid-19 pandemic.
A resident of Meena Estate near Udayampalayam, Yuveraju is a member of CODISSIA Defence Innovation & Atal Incubation Center (CDIIC). He said, "We have been supplying lab equipment to institutions and the Defence sector for over a decade. The lockdown triggered us to develop indigenous products to reduce dependence on substandard Chinese products. Personally, the father of one of my friends died of Covid-19 complications as oxygen concentrator was not available."
The youth said he spent more than Rs 15 lakh towards research and development (R&D) alone. "I did not import anything from China as I always wanted to be a part of the Make in India movement. With the help of my friends P Manoj Kumar, M Prithivi Krishnan and Prassana Ravi, I have carried out these works successfully," he said.
Yuveraju said they procured zeolite, a mineral used for concentrating oxygen, from a local supplier, to develop his machine. At present, five concentrators that he developed are being used at an RO treatment plant of a private firm in Coimbatore. He said more would be developed based on demand.
On the specification front, he said his concentrator would have a display showing real-time purity of oxygen. Saying that the utility was priced at Rs 75,000, he said he was ready to lower the price if the government gave subsidy.
Last year, the drones he developed were used to disinfect streets in Rajapalayam and Madurai. Subsequently, the Coimbatore City Municipal Corporation (CCMC) purchased the drones from him.
"My future goal is to produce green energy using hydrogen to power electric vehicles and mini gas turbine engines to propel drones and fixed-wing UAVs. It will be great if the Central and State governments provide subsidy for procuring raw materials to achieve these goals," said Yuveraju, who is running Avatar Aviation and Aerospace Pvt Ltd in the city.
MV Ramesh Babu, CODISSIA president, said they were pushing for his oxygen concentrators to be used in Defence hospitals across the country since the concentrator can be operated 24 hours continuously.