No black magic, this student has invented an apparatus that can produce water from thin air
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Jawwad Patel. Photo credit: Courtesy

Indian engineering student Jawwad Patel’s self-filling water apparatus can produce potable water even from polluted air


A few months ago, Jawwad Patel, an engineering student from Hyderabad, visited Lattur — a village in neighboring Maharashtra which was severely affected by the worst-ever drought this summer forcing thousands of people to flee. He talked to a woman in the village who used to walk more than 12 kilometers to fetch just two-three liters of potable water for the consumption of her entire family.

And her story made him cry — literally.

“Being from a well-off family in Hyderabad with all amenities, I cannot even imagine a situation where I walk kilometers to fetch just a few liters of portable water. And things are no different in villages in Rajasthan, Bihar, etc, where hundreds of people die in summer. The intensity of the situation is beyond our imagination,” Patel tells e27.

And he was determined to do something about this. He wanted people to create water on their own. So, he spent months on a project which he calls Project Dewdrop to develop a product that can extract water from thin air and bring smiles to millions of people, not just in India but around the globe.

“I have developed a 3D-printed intuitive self-filing water apparatus that can produce potable water from air moisture. This apparatus can extract high-quality water even from polluted air,” he says.

See the video.

The product comprises a smart condenser, connected to an onboard computer and sensors. The apparatus has a fan that sucks the thin humid air from the atmosphere and transfers it to the smart condenser. It then converts the thin humid air to liquid water under the dome of a computerized sensor, with respect to the atmospheric parameters. The water thus produced gets passed through various semi-permeable membranes to wash out the dust and other unwanted things.

Jawwad’s 3D-printed intuitive self-filing water apparatus

Jawwad’s 3D-printed intuitive self-filing water apparatus

After the process, the water gets UV-treated, which kills all the unnecessary microbiological activity and germs. The water then gets mineralized and finally stored in the tank attached to it.

“It can produce pure and healthy water even if the air is polluted. I have been using this water for the past 2-3 weeks and I’m still alive,” he quips.

The device cost him more than INR 12,000 ($180) to develop. Once he starts commercial production, the cost can come down to just INR 2,000 ($30), he adds.

The engineering student is getting hundreds of calls from the U.S., UK, Malaysia, Switzerland, Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Oman, Russia and Qatar for his revolutionary product.

“While I have been getting hundreds of calls every day from people across the world, my first priority is the common man in my own country. I want to invent things that can solve the problems faced by the common Indian. I also have plans to make the youth aware of various innovative possibilities, especially the rural population about technology and the vast fields they can contribute in,” he says.

Patel has been an electronic freak since childhood. He started working on electronics when he was as young as 10 years old. Later on, in school and during college he won many competitions in electronics and robotics.

The 22-year-old, currently pursuing a degree in engineering in electronics and communication at Lords Institute of Engineering and Technology in Hyderabad, has set up a lab at his home to experiment with his ideas and dreams.

This is not the first product Patel has developed. Last year, he was extensively covered by the Indian media for the invention of a smart helmet, which doubles as the only key to start a bike. You cannot start your bike unless and until you wear the helmet. This is aimed at reducing fatal bike accidents in cities.

He also has quite a few other inventions to his credit, including a solar-powered vehicle and heartbeat-measuring wrist belt.

Patel is now looking for an investor in India to fund the mass production of the water apparatus. “I would like to get the apparatus introduced as part of ‘Make In India’ initiative. I will also take up entrepreneurship and launch a startup.”

This post was originally published on e27

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Sainul Abudheen K

About Sainul Abudheen K

Sainul has been tracking the Indian startup ecosystem for the past four years. A well-connected writer, he keenly follows each and every development in the Indian startup and venture capital industry. A complete family man, he is also an ardent soccer fan and likes to spend his free time playing the 'sevens' with friends.

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