Hyderabad-based ‘The Phi Factory’ makes oxygenator

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Reacting to the need of making more oxygen accessible for patients being treated for Coronavirus at home, Hyderabad-based The Phi Plant, a startup that utilizes science standards to address normal issues, has built up an oxygen creating pack under the code-named Vayuputra.

PhiFactory co-founder Praveen Gorakavi said there is a shortfall of per capita medical oxygen supply and medical attention. “During the wait or transit time between the hospitals, one can use oxygen concentrators. However, they are priced around Rs 90,000. Also, their availability is also is low. Alternately, while acquiring oxygen cylinders (priced around Rs 3,500 to Rs 5,500) and refilling them is a tedious process as the oxygen supply-chain is stressed than usual,” he said.

On the problem being addressed, he said The Phi Factory has developed an in-situ oxygen manufacturing microreactor. It uses a catalyst along with hydrogen peroxide as the main ingredient. “The kit is a simple packed-bed catalytic Mirco-reactor capable of cleaving the oxygen molecules. Hydrogen peroxide (H202) is chosen as the primary candidate as it is widely available in the market. It is already being extensively used as a key component in sanitisers. It is also comparatively inexpensive,” he explained adding that peroxide is dissociated into water and oxygen, using a catalyst. The reaction produces 24 litres of oxygen per one litre of commercial-grade Hydrogen Peroxide.

The gadget is convenient and has the possibility to serve two individuals with 10 ltr/min of oxygen. The essential contribution comes at Rs 2,500 alongside a consumable fluid of 20 litres. This is sufficiently adequate to save an individual for 12 hours with clinical evaluation oxygen. Once depleted, the consumables can be supplanted with the top of jars of 20 ltr that comes at Rs 1,500.

We are ready to give the design to other companies who want to make the kits available in large numbers. This can also be used for large scale production of oxygen,” said Gorakavi. Hydrogen peroxide apart, potassium permanganate was also considered as the primary ingredient. However, for the domestic application, efflux discharge is presumed to be difficult and environmentally not sustainable, he said. At the domestic level, the use of specific gloves will make Hydrogen peroxide a safe material to handle. “We will go for certifications that are needed. Once we get into the commercial-scale production, we can make about 50,000 to one lakh units in a short time,” said Gorakavi.

“We have approached Praveen Gorakavi, inventor and scientist with an idea. The focus was on tackling the shortage of oxygen supply on a war footing. He developed the Project Vayuputra- oxygenating machine. This is an efficient, cost-effective and scalable solution,” said PM Sai Prasad, co-founder, Makershive Innovations, which is into making bionic arm and also offering other solutions.

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