Canadian International School Student Develops Polymer That Can Help Filter And Eliminate Viruses

The product was developed in the course of engaging with different compounds at his father’s chemical factory in Peenya after extensive research and analysis for 4 months.

In an example of exemplary innovation, Nikhil Ramachandran, a grade 12 student of Canadian International School (CIS) has developed a novel polymer component with nanoparticles that can filter viruses and absorb air pollutants. This is a special, finely dispersed formulation of a high viscous multifunctional polymer in water. The product contains antimicrobial and antiviral agents which make it suitable for application in air filters, disposable and non-disposable masks and other fabrics. Nikhil has now applied for a patent for the product, which is cost-effective and is consulting manufacturers to introduce it in the market and commercialise the same. He is also looking at getting statutory approvals as well as a distribution network and has started a proprietary company called NOVIC.

“The news about the disruption of life due to atmospheric fog in Delhi and surrounding areas bothered me especially due to adverse effects on respiratory health. I found that the disposable mask was not a solution as most pollutants pass through the mask and hence I was looking for a compound which could absorb fog causing chemical agents and this search led me to the work I undertook. The recent COVID-19 pandemic has further prompted me to scale up my research,” said Nikhil.

The product was developed in the course of engaging with different compounds at his father’s chemical factory in Peenya after extensive research and analysis for 4 months. He would visit the factory after school hours as he was deeply interested in polymers, compounds and the need to fight viruses. The product’s emulsion is extremely stable and is ready-to-use. It has excellent wetting and spreading properties that enables the formation of a thin coating. The product can be used in the form of a spray or a solution in which a mask or handkerchief can be dipped. The chemical then absorbs all the oxides - nitrogen, sulphur and carbon- and eliminates viruses, which is the need of the hour. Since masks and handkerchiefs are being used extensively by people, the product would act as a filter of cleanliness and improve the hygiene factor by its absorption capacities. The product provides protection from virus, fungi, and other pathogens and contains an antiviral agent which is effective against SARS COVID 19. It can be used by the air filter, mask and sanitizer manufacturers.

“The initial results excited me and the more I discussed with my mentors, the more they encouraged me to pursue development of the product. The availability of time along with school assignments were challenges I had to overcome while working on the product.  In the future, I am looking to pursue an advanced degree in chemical or biochemical sciences/engineering and wish to develop many more innovative products,” added Nikhil.

Commenting on Nikhil’s achievement, Shweta Sastri, Managing Director, Canadian International School said, “Nikhil’s achievement is commendable and it proves that age is no bar if we have the grit and determination. We wish him all the best in getting his product patented and manufactured. We always encourage our students to be creative and to develop an intellectual outlook. This will set the stage for bigger achievements that we can only be proud of."

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