Krrish Chawla, a 17-year-old student from Delhi, is trying to purify air through his low-cost innovation. Read more to know how he did it and where you can buy the unique device.
Krrish Chawla, a 17-year-old boy from Delhi has been a victim of air pollution ever since his childhood. His memories of Diwali revolve around inhalers and nebulizers, being in bed, coughing and struggling to breathe.
“I remember all the windows of my house would be taped up at the edges to stop any little bit of outside air coming in. I would struggle to breathe. I have personally experienced how respiratory problems can take over someone’s life,” Krrish said.
Krrish is only one of the millions of people who breathe polluted air every day. The numbers of air quality, across the world, are alarming. According to the WHO, an estimated 92 percent of the world’s population lives in areas with dangerous levels of air pollution. India has the world’s highest respiratory disease-related mortality rate, with 159 deaths per 100,000 in 2012.
Krrish found out that the air purifiers cost somewhere between Rs 15,000 to Rs. 50,000 in the current market. He realised that a purifier is a simple machine, which just needs a filter and a fan.
The big companies sold the purifier at a very high cost and Krrish wanted to make the device more affordable. “It’s everyone’s right to breathe pure air,” Krrish said.
He did further research on the indoor pollutions generated from computers, pet hair, smoke, and other indoor activities, which cause respiratory diseases.
The alarming facts he gathered from his research and his personal experiences from his childhood, together, inspired him to create a solution. He invented Breathify, a device that purifies the air.
Krrish’s innovation is a low-cost, eco-friendly air purifier. The purifier is made of 36 components, is 99 percent plastic-free and made of recycled compressed wood shaving.
“This has been done to prevent harming the environment in any way possible and working towards reducing the carbon footprint and achieve sustainable development,” Krrish said.
Made using affordable and long-lasting HEPA filters and Medium Density Fibreboard (MDF), the device uses only 40W of electricity.
It has a two-staged advanced filtration system with HEPA, which removes 99.97 percent of particles efficiently. The purifier does not emit harmful gases and consumes power equivalent to one CFL bulb.
Breathify costs is available in four models and costs between Rs. 2,000 to Rs. 4,500, depending on the model. Starting from a basic model, Krrish has also made an advanced version of the purifier, which is compatible with Wi-Fi, phone, and Amazon Alexa.
A strong fan has been installed in the filter to cover large rooms.
“I have kept the design of the filter very simple to allow its production without a proper manufacturing setup. The model can be easily replicated anywhere,” Krrish shared.
The project was executed under the able guidance of doctors and support from his parents. With the help of family and friends, he managed to raise funding of Rs. 3,80,000, which he spent in manufacturing the device.
The first model of the innovation was Airffordable, which was developed in 2017 along with three of his classmates. Later on, Krrish made further advancements and modifications and launched Breathify.
Four models of Breathify are:
- BREATHIFY Lite – The most affordable of the lot
- BREATHIFY Air – Low cost Air Purifier with the most efficient filtration
- BREATHIFY X – The ‘Smart’ Air Purifier with remote operation
- BREATHIFY Go – For the car and other vehicles
Krrish has sold over 500 devices across India and has donated over 125 air purifiers to the families living in the slums of Delhi.
To amplify the impact, Krrish plants one tree for every device sold. Over 500 saplings have also been planted by this young change maker. Krrish’s main aim was always to make his device to reach the lesser privileged community.
“I understood that even at its lowest price, the filter still might be inaccessible to many people. So I integrated a donation feature in my initiative,” he said.
Under this donation feature, the buyer of the purifier can choose to donate one device to an economically backward family.
Krrish also conducted several campaigns across the city and distributed thousands of pamphlets to spread more awareness about the issue of air pollution and how his simple device can help.
The biggest challenge Krrish faced was to make the device affordable and restrain from using any plastic. Sourcing HEPA filters, which are both efficient and affordable, was a challenge in the beginning.
“I was able to find a suitable option that eventually kept the price of the base model at Rs. 1,099 only,” Krrish said.
Another challenge for Krrish was to actually give a physical form to his idea. He realised how difficult it is to bring an idea from a conceptualising stage to a prototype stage.
What the future looks like?
In future, Krrish wants to manufacture more air purifiers and make his innovation reach to every corner of the country.
“I plan to not just increase the sale of my product, but also donate more products to various NGOs, government schools, nursing homes,” he said.
His focus is to target the areas near industries and farmlands, where crop burning contributes to very high levels of air pollution.
Along with making more purifiers, Krrish plans to continue spreading awareness about the health hazards of air pollution and take his product to other developing countries.
He also plans to innovate two other models of air purifier for bigger spaces like malls and hospitals by crowdfunding and donations.
He is currently working towards creating a bigger platform for people to buy the machines by promoting through social media and online sales. By marketing the purifier on Amazon, he wants to make it easier for people to buy across the country.
People can order the purifier from his website, breathify.in. He currently has five orders from Maharashtra and one from Dehradun in the pipeline.
“Delhi has been ranked as one of the most polluted cities in the world. I am planning to take this project to New Delhi’s Chief Minister, Arvind Kejriwal to get help from the government,” Krrish concludes.