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

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

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 had access to only a limited amount of water per day. One of them, Swapnil Shrivastav, decided to take action to combat this scourge that is set to recur more frequently.

Along with Venkatesh Raja and Govinda Balaji, he founded a start-up based in the city of Bangalore with the aim of combating water shortages. The three friends were directly inspired by Star Wars, and more specifically by a technology developed on Tatooine, Anakin Skywalker’s home planet. 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 to 10 days. “, explains the company on its website. To exploit it, Uravu Labs has designed atmospheric water generators. The latter contain a liquid desiccant that absorbs the humidity 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 humidity.

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

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A market set to grow due to global warming

Uravu Labs’ primary goal is to provide clean water to communities affected by water shortages. Unfortunately, this project is not viable at this time, as it is too expensive. The startup still sells its water to 40 customers in the hospitality sector, and is exploring the possibility of using a different material to absorb more moisture.

Another ambitious project is to harness the 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 droughts. A phenomenon that is becoming more global due to global warming.

According to’Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)more than 50% of the world’s population, or four billion people, lack water at least once a month. And the situation is not getting any 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 market for atmospheric water production should be worth $13.5 billion in 2032, compared to $3.4 billion today, estimates the analysis firm Global Markets Inside.

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