Mumbai: As India struggles in the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic, a team of students, professors and alumni of IIT-Bombay have come up with an amazing technique to reuse the exhaled oxygen.
This innovative way to reuse the oxygen will enhance the lifetime of oxygen cylinders, thereby, making resources more available for the COVID-19 patients.
As per the makers, this method can bring down the usage of over nine oxygen cylinders in a day.
The team of IIT-Bombay’s alumni, professors and students have designed the prototype of a breathing device called ‘The reBreather’.
The prototype facilitates recirculation of exhaled breath by blending in fresh oxygen and scrubbing out carbon dioxide.
The Times of India report quoted professor Santosh Noronha from the chemical engineering department at IIT-Bombay as saying, “Covid-19 patients in intensive care can be given up to 50 litres of oxygen per minute, with only 1-1.5 litre being really utilised. Consequently, around 90% of oxygen is lost to the atmosphere. The bottled oxygen could be used efficiently in a closed (or semi-closed) loop system, which we have demonstrated using the reBreather.”
In the current scenario, when India’s healthcare system is overwhelmed and hundreds of lives have been lost to acute oxygen shortage, this technology can be the turning point as it minimizes the wastage of oxygen.
“Release of a lot of oxygen could also be a reason for increased fire incidents in Covid hospitals,” professor Santosh Noronha added.
Even though the prototype has been tested informally, the official clinical trials are yet to begin. The authorities revealed that the prototype had cost the institute over Rs 10,000, adding that this amount can be brought down in large-scale industrial deployment. Additionally, IIT-Bombay has invested in manufacturers and engineers to adopt, replicate or modify the design for better efficiency.