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Uravu Labs, the start-up inspired by Star Wars to combat water shortages

© Unsplash.com/Chester Ho

As droughts become more frequent, Uravu Labs has developed a technique to transform air humidity into ” 100 % renewable ” drinking water.

Water is produced from renewable energy

The genesis of Uravu Labs dates back to 2016, when a terrible drought hit the Indian city of Kozhikode. As a result, its residents only had access to a limited amount of water per day. One of them, Swapnil Shrivastav, decided to act to fight against this scourge which is set to recur more and more frequently.

Alongside Venkatesh Raja and Govinda Balaji, he founded a start-up based in the city of Bangalore with the objective of combating water shortages. The three sidekicks were directly inspired by Star Wars, and more particularly by technology developed on Tatooine, the home planet of Anakin Skywalker. It allows, roughly, to change air into water.

« The air contains water equivalent to six times all the rivers in the world combined and is naturally renewed every 8 at 10 days ,” explains the company on its website. To exploit it, Uravu Labs has designed atmospheric water generators. These contain a liquid desiccant which absorbs moisture present in the air. This substance is then heated to 65°C using solar energy or renewable electricity (biomass and heat from industrial installations), which causes the release of the absorbed moisture.

This is then condensed to produce drinking water. According to Swapnil Shrivastav, the entire process takes around 12 hours, while each unit produces around 2,000 liters of drinking water per day.

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A market destined to grow due to global warming

The primary goal of Uravu Labs is the supply of drinking water to communities affected by water shortages. For the moment, this project is unfortunately not viable, because it is too expensive. The start-up still sells its water to 40 clients from the hospitality sector, and is studying the possibility of using a different material to absorb more humidity.

Another ambitious project, she wants to exploit the very high heat produced by data centers in Singapore and India to create water. Uravu Labs also plans to collaborate with companies on CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) efforts. A partnership with Indian government agencies is also being considered, as the country faces an increase in periods of drought. A phenomenon that is becoming globalized due to global warming.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), more than 50% of the world's population, or four billion people, lack food. 8217;water at least once a month. And the situation is not getting better: by 2025, 1.8 billion people will live in countries or regions suffering from water shortages.  absolute ”. Water restrictions are set to increase.

In such a context, start-ups like Uravu Labs have a card to play. The atmospheric water production market is expected to be worth $13.5 billion in 2032, compared to $3.4 billion today, estimates the analysis firm Global Markets Inside.

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Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116