Delhi University’s Hindu College has launched its first start-up with the development of a machine capable of disinfecting a range of items. The machine, designed like a microwave, has UVC (Ultraviolet-C) tubes that sanitize items, said Lalit Kumar, an assistant professor at the college, who developed the machine. “You can place any item you want to disinfect in it. This machine can be very useful for homes, offices, hospitals, grocery stores, etc. With this machine, banknotes, files office supplies, groceries, fruits, vegetables, glasses, masks, health products, ATM cards, packages, children’s toys and other accessories can be disinfected in a minute,” he said, quoted in a PTI report.
Kumar said clothes cannot be placed inside the machine because for the machine to sanitize an item, the surface must be fully exposed. “You will need a bigger machine to disinfect clothes. Of course, you can keep a small piece of cloth for disinfection,” he said. The idea of developing such a machine arose in light of the coronavirus pandemic, Kumar said. He said the machine was the result of teamwork between Prof Anju Srivastava, the college principal, Prof Reena Jain – both from the chemistry department – and IIT Delhi alumnus Updesh Verma .
“This machine is capable of inactivating 99.9% of bacteria, viruses, yeasts and molds within one minute of exposure,” Kumar said. The machine works by destroying the RNA and DNA strands of viruses and bacteria, he said. It has been certified by the Shriram Institute for Industrial Research and the safety features are registered by the Defense Research and Development Organization’s Laser Science and Technology Division, he said.
The machine is available in the market for Rs 13,000 and has a capacity of 50 liters. It was given an aesthetic look by two Delhi public school students who painted it. The two girls painted the machine as part of the city government’s Business Blasters initiative. “A few months ago I came across an article about two students from the public school in Delhi who are doing hand painting. I had a word with them and they painted the front door of the machine. The machine is beautiful. I have all the machines in my inventory painted by them,” he said.
Work on the machine began eight months ago, and based on the machine, the college launched its first start-up, which it named Lonuva Innovations. “Next in line is an air sanitizer that we are working on. It will sanitize the air and purify the air,” Kumar said.