This Device will End Waterborne Diseases
borewell hand pump, you will get disinfected water instantaneously. It does not require any consumables and has zero maintenance… very low capex. So, in underserved areas, if you just fit it in a borewell hand pump, you can forget diarrhoea, cholera and typhoid forever,” Mukherjee is heard telling the Prime Ministers of India and Israel in a video shot by Israel’s Government Press Office.
Taraltec Solutions, his company, was one of the four startups chosen by government think tank Niti Aayog to represent the country at an India-Israel tech innovation exhibition on water, health and agriculture. The other startups were Perfint, Axiostat and Barrix.
It was unusual for Mukherjee to secure an audience with Modi and Netanyahu, since his startup was just seven-months old. But the startup’s product is unusual too.
Its biomimicry-based technology, which allows the tiny reactor to kill 99% of the microbes in water (as per NABL-approved lab tests), is based on a scientific phenomenon called cavitation. Underwater a snapping shrimp (alphidae) shoots jets of water by snapping shut its claws to knock out its prey, causing voids or cavitation bubbles. These bubbles, as they implode, release microsized packets of energy with temperatures of several thousand degrees, pressure of hundreds of bars and huge turbulence.
“Our reactor creates millions of such voids or cavitation bubbles with water jets. When it implodes, the implosion creates shock waves which instantaneously kill all the germs in the water being pumped out,” Mukherjee told ET in an interview. The startup won a Rs 25-lakh cheque from India Innovation Growth Programme 2.0 — a contest run by Department of Science and Technology, Lockheed Martin and Tata Trusts.
The next step for Taraltec, Mukherjee said, is scaling up production as demand for the reactors grows — mostly from CSR departments of large corporations. He also hopes for the government to adopt the reactor, which eliminates chances of waterborne diseases, in its various welfare schemes. “We have set up clusters of third party operations to increase production,” he said.
As of now, there are nearly 100 Taraltec reactors disinfecting water in hand pumps in rural Maharashtra and Jharkhand. The reactor, Mukherjee said, is priced less than Rs 6,000, weighs about a kg, runs without power and takes 15 minutes to install.
He said Taraltec’s technology, for which he has applied for a patent, works at large scale too. His company has installed reactors to disinfect industrial water at a factory of a multinational automobile company. Mukherjee, an IIT Bombay dropout who became a marine engineer and then studied at IIM Bangalore, said his journey as an entrepreneur for the past two decades has simply been about perseverance and the support of people, one least expects to get help from. “It’s like jumping from the 30th floor hoping someone will catch you. And someone does. Trust me.”
Anjan Mukherjee presenting product before PMs of India & Israel