BU professor's patent could be answer to high fluoride and arsenic levels in the country's water
Features Thursday, August 21, 2014 - 05:30
The News Minute | August 21, 2014 | 04:43 pm IST Recently patented water purifying technology which is now being explored commercially, may have the answer to high fluoride and arsenic levels levels present in the water in many parts of the country. Professor GT Chandrappa from the Department of Chemistry at Bangalore University obtained a patent in nanoparticle technology in February this year, which removes fluoride and arsenic content from water. The process involves using MgO and ZnO to absorb fluoride and arsenic contamination and is environment-friendly, Chandrappa says. Ă˘â‚¬Ĺ“We are very happy that we got a patent. Ultimately, we want, that it should benefit the common manĂ˘â‚¬Âť, says Prof Chandrappa. Explaining the technology, Prof Chandrappa says, Ă˘â‚¬Ĺ“Water from the tubewells and borewells are most contaminated by fluoride and arsenic. Most borewells are dug beyond 800 ft where these elementsare found naturally. Bangalore too has high levels of fluoride in the water, whereas arsenic content is high in the north eastern statesĂ˘â‚¬Âť. Drinking fluoride water can have several health implications including dental fluorosis and skeletal fluorosis. There are a few elements that set this technology apart from the rest already present in this domain. Ă˘â‚¬Ĺ“Our technology is cheap, effective and not time consuming. This can remove fluoride and arsenic (III and IV species ) components from water at the same time, unlike other technologiesĂ˘â‚¬Âť, he says. Although the patent was granted in February, due to various factors including lack of awareness and the University administrationĂ˘â‚¬â„˘s delayed response to queries from the industry prevented the patent from being put into industrial use. Professor Chandrappa has filed for another patent with the National Research Development Corporation; but this time the components used in the process are far cheaper than the existing materials used. Initially the cost per kg of chemical components was around Rs 1,500. With the use of other components, the cost has reduced to Rs 30 a kg. Ă˘â‚¬Ĺ“A few Indian as well as American companies, have shown interest in the patent. The talks are going onĂ˘â‚¬Âť, says Prof Chandrappa who is hoping the patent is commercialized and is available for use to the common man.