Indian start-ups have stepped up to do their bit in resolving the oxygen crisis that has come about with the second wave of Covid-19. We have witnessed how popular names in the start-up ecosystem spared no thought in rolling out employee wellness benefits, organising vaccination drives, and doing everything they can to procure oxygen concentrators from countries like China to fill the gaping hole in India’s healthcare system. While most start-ups are not undertaking full-fledged construction and are raising funds to purchase equipment and import parts, a number of innovative start-ups are attempting to create affordable alternative solutions.
Start-ups who are building Oxygen Concentrators in India
Indeema Fibres Pvt. Ltd., an IIT Kanpur start-up is all set to supply 5500 oxygen concentrators this 25 May. The start-up bagged the order post approval from the Department of Science of Technology along with the Prime Minister’s Office. Interestingly, Indeema Fibres has always been in the Oxygen Concentrators business and now have a critical responsibility at hand. They are tasked with producing Covid-specific concentrators that need 90% concentration. Indeema has received their very first order for 4500 oxygen concentrators from the ONGC CSR fund.
Engineering & Environmental (E&E) solutions
The next start-up that has come up with an innovation to tackle the cost problem of a generic oxygen concentrator is Engineering & Environmental (E&E) solutions. The start-up has successfully built and tested a low-cost oxygen concentrator prototype at Aligarh. While an imported oxygen concentrator costs anywhere between INR 65000 – 90000, this low-cost alternative is priced at just INR 35000. Which is a massive difference and a big step towards making the much-needed medical equipment affordable for all in India caught in the second wave of the pandemic.
The technology behind this prototype is called Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) which requires Zeolite as a commercial adsorbent. However, Zeolite is currently not available at the scale at which they require which has halted the mass production of this product.
The Phi Factory
The Phi Factory is a Hyderabad based start-up which has come up with a unique device called their ‘portable oxygenerator’ as part of the start-up’s ‘Vayuputra project’. Priced at INR 2500, these alternative oxygen concentrators can produce oxygen for 12 hours. The start-up is currently working to fulfil over 45000 requests from government departments, state governments, and individuals.
The next start-up working to provide a sustainable alternative to the oxygen problem in India is Exalta. A renewable energy start-up, they recently launched mini oxygen concentrators that are 100% Made in India and do not rely on import of parts. Priced between INR 20000 and 40000, Exalta’s mini oxygen concentrators are based on their innovation called ‘solar oxygen tree’. The devices are currently being manufactured in Noida and if scalable, can help tackle the oxygen crisis in the country.
Indeema Fibres an IIT Kanpur start-up is all set to supply 5500 oxygen concentrators on 25 May, 2021.
What’s in it for me?
Air product start-ups need to innovate during this crucial juncture. Quick thinking is required with solutions that can drastically cut down the prices of oxygen concentrator manufacture, one can expect big orders from governmental organisations, hospitals, and corporates. New-age technologies like IoT can optimise oxygen usage. As an air product start-up, you need to think about procuring this technology and successfully testing it. Multi-specialty hospitals will be quick to place large orders owing to the huge demand. Innovations, cost-effective, and quickly deployable solutions are the need of the hour during the humanitarian crisis that the country is gripped with.