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LOTUS Project: IIT Guwahati, Bombay Collaborate with European Partners to Address Water Issues

In collaboration with European universities, the Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT) Guwahati and Bombay are developing a low-cost technology to test the quality of potable and other water in India.

Shivam Dwivedi
LOTUS sensor and the quality monitoring and control algorithms developed at IIT Bombay
LOTUS sensor and the quality monitoring and control algorithms developed at IIT Bombay

The LOTUS Indo-European project, a collaboration between the Department of Science and Technology and the European Commission, aims to provide solutions to problems with water quality in Indian households and elsewhere. The LOTUS project is built around a novel water quality sensor developed at Ecole Polytechnique in Paris, France.

 

During the project, researchers at Universite Gustave Eiffel collaborated with IIT Guwahati and the SME EGM, Sophia Antipolis, France, to further develop the sensor. According to S Senthilmurugan, Chairperson, Technology Incubation Centre, IIT Guwahati, the LOTUS water quality sensor requirements were established after gathering information from Indian water utility owners, operators, end users, and research and development experts, and the LOTUS sensor is expected to meet the needs of Indian water industries.

"The successful commercialization of the LOTUS water quality sensor will provide a low-cost water quality monitoring and safe drinking water supply solution to Indian citizens, which is consistent with the vision of the government of India's Jal Jeevan Mission and its Make-in-India initiative," he said. IIT Guwahati is collaborating with Linxens India Private Limited and Hydroscope Technology Private Limited, a start-up firm, to commercialise the sensor for the Indian market.

 

The technology licencing process between both companies and the LOTUS team (IIT Guwahati and Université Gustave Eiffel) is currently underway. "The LOTUS sensor developed at IIT Guwahati is being designed to address sensing needs and quality control aspects across different use case scenarios encompassing safe drinking water, agricultural water and wastewater.

"The overall framework, which includes the LOTUS sensor and the quality monitoring and control algorithms developed at IIT Bombay, will be developed and deployed on platforms to provide improved solutions to major water quality control issues throughout the country," said Ravindra Gudi, Dean (Alumni and Corporate Relations), IIT Bombay.

The LOTUS sensor is built around a chip that contains carbon nanotube-based sensing elements capable of measuring a variety of quality parameters such as Total Dissolved Solids (TDS), Potential of Hydrogen (pH), chlorine, and arsenic.

 

The sensor system's components include software that allows for water quality monitoring and safe water supply in the piped water network and tanker supply systems. LOTUS sensor also includes a portable solar-powered disinfectant system integrated with a water quality controller and another software for optimising water supply in irrigation.

 

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