Covid-19: Indian expat in UAE invents air purifier for patients, frontliners

Photo by Ryan Lim/Khaleej Times
Photo by Ryan Lim/Khaleej Times

Abu Dhabi - Mohankumar, 55, claimed his invention could filter infected air from a room.


Ashwani Kumar

Published: Tue 6 Jul 2021, 4:05 PM

Last updated: Tue 6 Jul 2021, 4:24 PM

P.K. Mohankumar, an Abu Dhabi-based Indian electrician, has developed an ‘air-care’ purifier, which aims to benefit Covid-19 patients and frontline workers.

Mohankumar, 55, claimed his invention could filter infected air from a room.

The contraption operates on a four-step mechanism: air washing, air drying, ultraviolet air sterilisation and mask filtration.

“A Covid-19 patient in a closed room will continue to breathe infected air. Unless the air is purified, the medicine won’t work on the patient. This could be the reason why the recovery time of patients is more. Even when patients talk, they spread infection, which is harmful for hospital staff,” said the electrician, who hails from Kerala, the southernmost Indian state, and runs Centre Point Electronics, a shop, in Abu Dhabi.

The contraption is a culmination of his over year-long hard work.

“I follow research works done by Japanese scientists and their theories. In January 2020, I started my work to make an appliance to keep air pure. I designed a device using PVC pipes, copper pipeline, a single cylinder and filters to check how air is spreading. I was immersed in research till last October,” he said.

Unfortunately, Mohankumar had suffered reverses

in a partnership business after losing control in a Mussafah-based shop.

“I got cheated by my partner. I lost all my investments, shop and equipment. Later, I managed to open Centre Point Electronics. My well-wishers and a benevolent Emirati sponsor helped me start afresh,” he said.

‘Air-care’, which uses a small tank to purify and dry the air, ultraviolet light and a mask, including a 60 watt (W) double blower and a pump, is a part of his new venture.

“The method involves suction of the impure or infected air, which passes through a filter just like the normal air purifier. This filtered air is washed and sanitised with antiseptic lotion. Soon, the air is dried, and it passes through an ultraviolet light chamber. The other end of the chamber is fitted with a mask. And the purified air is expelled through this mask. So, impure air is undergoing a four-step purification and will help eliminate viruses present in a room. The wastewater is drained and antiseptic refilled,” he said.

Mohankumar, who is yet to contract SARS-CoV-2, which causes Covid-19, attributed him being contagion-free to his invention that is not yet a commercial venture.

He exuded optimism that his idea would be further developed by research and development (R&D) institutes or government agencies to fine-tune the mechanism and get it certified by competent authorities.

“This device is mandatory in hospitals, sharing accommodations and apartments. This can be made into any size and shape, and as a solar appliance. I’m working on a portable one,” he added.

Earlier, he had made a cost-effective, waterproof solar lantern for fishermen.

Later, turned that solar lantern into a high-powered, all-purpose lamp, to run a mixer, TV, grinder and other smaller kitchen appliances.

Mohankumar’s wife Vinodini and two sons -- Mithin and Vipin who are pursuing a career in electronics -- are back home in Kerala, as the electrician pieces together his life afresh amid the raging viral outbreak.

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