Sun. May 9th, 2021

IIT Bombay steps up Covid-19 related R&D projectsNEW DELHI: The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay has stepped up research and development (R&D) amid Covid-19 and its researchers are developing products such as a portable sterilisation device and germicidal cabinet; wheeled sterilisation unit, especially for hospitals; portable and rechargeable car sanitiser; eco-friendly sprays, and alcohol-free and bleach-free sanitisers. All these solutions kill up to 99.9% viruses, including Covid-19, bacteria and fungi.

“We have undertaken more than 30 Covid-19 related R&D projects,” IIT Bombay director Subhasis Chaudhuri told ET.

The IIT is working in coordination with government departments. Some of these solutions have been launched while others are in the pipeline.

One such solution to be launched in the coming weeks is a portable sterilisation device and germicidal cabinet that uses ultraviolet light to eliminate Covid-19 pathogens.

Within three minutes of exposure, these devices, developed by Professor Ambarish Kunwar and other researchers, can almost completely eliminate the virus present on small objects such as mobile phones.

The team has also designed a wheeled sterilisation unit that can sanitise a larger area within a radius of one metre when exposed to UV light for around 15 minutes. Currently, all three devices are being used in the IIT Bombay Hospital.

The researchers have also developed a prototype of a portable and rechargeable car sanitiser. “This can be stored in the trunk of your car, and can also be used in ambulances,” said Kunwar. His team has also developed a safe biohazard transporter which can be used for inactivation, transport and safe disposal of biohazards such as used masks.

The institute has also come up with Duraprot reusable masks which come with an antiviral coating that inactivates viruses and bacteria. These are currently available on e-commerce platforms for Rs 30 onwards.

These masks are modifications of cloth masks to provide N95 plus features, making it easier to breath.

IIT Bombay has also come up with a line of products such as Ecorsani – alcohol-free, bleach-free sanitisers and protection sprays; Ecorsani H – hand and body sanitisers; Ecorsani apparel sprays for textiles, all cloth surfaces and clothes; and Ecorsani Aerosol – aerosol sprays for room disinfection and for public transport disinfection.

These products are biodegradable, safe and have GRAS (generally regarded as safe) formulations of biopolymers and essential oils.

IIT Bombay is in discussions with various industry stakeholders to commercialise these solutions.

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