22 Jan 2019
How this nanotech start-up by IIT-Roorkee alumnus is fighting pollution
We are living in testing times when pollution of all forms is on the rise and a switch to renewable sources of energy has become the need of the hour.
At such crucial times, technological innovation often holds the key to transformation, and IITian Akshay Singhal is attempting to bring in widespread change through his nanotechnology start-up, Log 9 Materials.
Here's all about it.
Log 9 Materials is attempting to solve massive problems
Incubated in 2015 at IIT-Roorkee, Log 9 Materials started off as a small initiative, but quickly graduated into a start-up with significant transformative potential.
A nanotechnology firm specializing in graphene, Log 9's first product was a cigarette filter.
Four years since its founding, the start-up is now attempting to solve massive problems like oil spills and air pollution, and is also paving the way for clean transport.
Akshay's foray into nanotechnology was inspired by his grandfather
Speaking to NewsBytes, Akshay told us that his foray into nanotechnology and graphene began with small lessons from his grandfather Vipin Kumar, a scientist at the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) in Delhi.
The veteran scientist had been engaged in the field of nanotechnology for 35 years, and Akshay told us that he would get weekly lessons from him during his sophomore year at IIT-Roorkee.
Graphene soon caught the young IITian's eye
Using a small lab in the Center of Nanotechnology at IIT-Roorkee, Akshay, guided by his grandfather, began experimenting with nanotechnology.
Soon after, graphene caught Akshay's attention as the next big thing, and his research into the field of graphene nanotechnology was aided by the arrival of a new professor Dr. Indranil Lahiri, who had completed a PhD on graphene from the US.
Log 9's first product was a graphene-based cigarette filter
Driven by his desire to do applied research that would have a tangible impact on society, Akshay persisted, and in December 2015, Log 9 Materials was incubated.
Less than a year later, in November 2016, Log 9 launched its first product - the Post-Purification Filter (PPuF).
Although the graphene-based product was an accidental result of Akshay's experiments, it soon caught on.
A cigarette filter that keeps the smoking experience intact
Akshay told us that Log 9's PPuF cigarette filters are doing well in markets like Delhi and Mumbai, and are also seeing pan-India sales through online marketplaces like Amazon.
What's so special about PPuF? Well, PPuF can selectively filter out toxins from cigarette smoke.
Selective filtration of toxins excluding nicotine makes smoking safer while keeping the smoking experience intact.
Log 9's next venture was aimed at oil spill cleanup
Yet, that was just the start.
Log 9 soon came up with a product for cleaning up oil spills.
Called the Log 9 Oil Sorbent (LOS), the graphene-based adsorbent offers a higher absorption efficiency than traditional adsorbents used to clean up oil spills.
Further, apart from absorbing effluents, LOS offers the ability to recover oil/chemicals, thereby making disposal of the adsorbent even cleaner.
The company is also using its expertise for filtration
Log 9's efforts to provide clean solutions to pressing problems did not stop there.
Given growing levels of pollution and the need for better air and water purification technologies, the company has also started using its expertise in graphene nanotechnology to create more efficient air and water filtration media that offer the ability to selectively filter toxins.
How Log 9 is trying to speed up EV adoption
In the domain of clean energy, Log 9 is working to make batteries for electric vehicles (EVs) more efficient in a bid to speed up EV adoption.
Log 9's trials have already proven that the addition of graphene derivatives in EV batteries improves energy density and power density of batteries by 30% and 35%, respectively.
Akshay told us that once such batteries come into the picture, he expects EV adoption to increase 10x.
Log 9 hopes to commercialize its battery tech soon
Akshay told us that Log 9 is focusing all its energies on the aforementioned EV battery technology at the moment, but added that his company was not opposed to exploring applications of its technology in other sectors.
Log 9 currently has several clients for its commercial products, and hopes to commercialize its battery technology both in India and abroad within the next five years.