This entrepreneur is producing water from air to quench global thirst
Mumbai, the economic capital of India, has several pockets where people stand in long queues to fetch a few pots of water daily – a scene prevalent in most parts of the world.
Almost four billion people experience severe water scarcity for at least one month each year. According to UNICEF, by 2040, roughly one in four children worldwide will live in areas of extremely high water stress.
In their nascent stages, wastewater treatment and recycling are a few solutions to address the global crisis of water shortage. Nonetheless, modern-day technology is opening new doors to solve this crisis.
While the science behind generating water from air is not uncommon, India is yet to catch up with this technology economically to address the issue of drinking water scarcity at home.
In 2018, Sanjay Kumar Gargalong with Natwar Dhuwalia and Bharat Bhushan Kapoorlaunched. However, this was not Sanjay’s first brush with entrepreneurship.
A decade ago, in 2008, Sanjay founded Aryav Ecofriendly Resources Pvt LtdAryav AWG’s parent company, which deals in innovative environmental-friendly products, including solar power plants, solar water heating systems, and waste management (where it converts waste tires into Pyrolysis oil).
Now, the Delhi-based company also generates water from the air.
(LR) Sanjay Kumar Garg, Natwar Dhuwalia, and Bharat Bhushan Kapoor, Co-founders, Aryav AWG
What is AWG
In 2021, the global Atmospheric Water Generator (AWG) market size exceeded $ 2.65 billion, and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of over 18 percent between 2022-28.
“Aryav’s AWG taps into the atmosphere — an unlimited freely-available resource — to provide drinking water to people from remote village communities to commercial office buildings and private homes,” Sanjay tells SMBStory in an exclusive interview.
He adds, “These AWGs provide a decentralized local source of potable water without any connection to pipes or catch basins. All they require is electricity or an alternate source of power to extract, condense, purify, and dispense crystal clear fresh drinking water. ”
The startup’s AWG extracts water vapor from the air by the condensation method — cooling the air below its dew point and pressurizing it. Unlike a dehumidifier, an AWG is designed to render the water potable.
This filtered air is pushed over a coil by controlled speed fans to produce water, later directed to a holding tank with a purification and filtration system.
According to Sanjay, AWGs are useful in regions where safe drinking water is scarce, except for dry regions with 30 percent humidity such as Rajasthan, Delhi-NCR, etc.
“The process is eco-friendly and generates no waste water, unlike the reverse osmosis (RO) machine that discards over 60 percent of processed water. Our energy-efficient patented machine consumes five to six units less power in water generation compared to other available machines in India, ”he says.
Aryav AWG has designed its machines to meet drinking water requirements between 100 to 10,000 liters per day, catering to domestic and industrial use. The company has its in-house manufacturing unit in New Delhi.
The company operates a capex and renting business model, where a 100-liter water dispensing machine costs Rs 1.95 lakh.
At present, Aryav’s clients include SIDBI Kolkata and Hyderabad-based Wellstark Energy Pvt Ltd, among others. Besides, it works as an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) for other AWG manufacturers in India.
Image credits: Aryav AWG
Solving the water problem
SMBStory reached out to JSS STEP (Science and Technology Entrepreneurs Park) to understand the future potential of this technology.
Divya Rajput, the CEO of the Noida-based business incubator, says, AWG is a great technology to sustain humankind for many years as increasing global temperatures and population rise will create severe groundwater scarcity.
“With healthy competition among manufacturers and increase in efficiency, this technology will soon be the cheapest way to convert water vapor into water,” Divya adds.
Capitalizing on this, Aryav AWG has made its first international expansion to Dubai, UAE, besides having a presence in India.
Aryav’s 100 liters / day AWG
The market scenario
Handling water scarcity will be a top priority in the coming decade.
Supportive regulatory guidelines by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the EU Commission, and the World Health Organization (WHO) will drive AWGs’ growth.
According to Fortune Business Insights, the high cost of products is restraining the growth of the industry, especially among household and light commercial applications.
However, large-scale industries are adopting sustainable solutions to meet their water requirements. According to a UN report, this consumption is expected to increase by 2030.
Sanjay says Aryav AWG is developing machines that will generate water through wind power, increasing the capacity from 10,000 to 20,000 liters per day.
“We are in the process of appointing global channel partners for our company. We are already expanding in India and have our partners in Dubai. We are also expanding in the South African market, ”he adds.