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  Digital Catalogue for Technology and Products Development

   Technology and Product Development

    Basic Information

Technology developed: iHydroMET (TP19767674825)
Category: Nil
Details of Inventor(s):
Inventor Institution/Organization/Company Department Designation
Dr. Sunil A. Patil (PI), Mr. Ravi Kumar Yadav, Dr. IISER Mohali Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences
Technical Application Area: Water Treatment
If 'Other', please specify:
Wastewater management or treatment at the point sources, i.e., households and small localities
Please give more details of new technical application area:
iHdydroMET is the first of its kind technology for managing domestic wastewater at the point sources, i.e. households. It is easy to operate, less sludge producing, less energy-intensive, chemical-free, and easy to implement and manage in both rural and urban settings. It recovers clean water and low levels of electrical energy from wastewater and allows the cultivation of useful plants.
Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) Mohali
Affiliated Ministry: Ministry of Education
Type of technology development: Indigenous
Does the technology help in replacing any import items currently
procured from outside India?
Does the technology have export potential? Yes
Category of Technology developed: Futuristic
Stage of Development: Prototype Level
Please describe in detail including the TRL Level:
The novel decentralized integrated Drip Hydroponics-Microbial electrochemical technology (iHydroMET) is based on the integration of abiotic and biotic components in a single reactor unit which can facilitate aerobic, anaerobic, rhizosphere and electroactive microbial activities along with plant nutrient uptake, filtration and adsorption processes, which in turn contribute to the removal of various wastewater constituents efficiently. The integrated approach circumvents some of the inherent limitations associated with the hydroponics plant cultivation technique and various wastewater treatment technologies that are based on aerobic, anaerobic, biological nutrient removal, ecological engineering, and microbial fuel cell approaches. It can achieve efficient wastewater treatment even at short hydraulic retention times of a few hours, and removes not only organic matter but also nutrients and emerging micropollutants from wastewater effectively. After successful demonstration of a proof of concept lab-scale reactor design, a prototype has been developed and is under continuous testing for improvement in its performance. The system consists of multiple reactor units, and each reactor unit contains an optimized support bed matrix, along with electrodes and plant sapling. Arranging multiple reactor units in the proposed system design allows troubleshooting and maintenance easily without compromising on the treatment process, which is a major advantage over the existing wastewater treatment technologies. The system can be operated in both batch-recirculation and continuous modes. In addition to the efficient wastewater treatment, the system also yields low levels of electrical power output and valuable plant biomass. With all the components validation in lab environment (TRL4), the technology is ready for further optimisation and testing at the field sites (TRL5).


Applications: The iHydroMET technology addresses the pressing environmental issues related to wastewater management and the greenhouse gas release in a unified approach making the whole process economic and ecofriendly. It is a sustainable, affordable, and viable solution for the management of domestic wastewater at the household and small community levels along with recovery of valuable resources, clean water, electricity, and plant biomass. The decentralization of this technology at the point sources like house dwelling will be a key intervention to close the water use cycle at the source itself. By doing this, we can not only lower the burden on the existing wastewater treatment infrastructure but also save enormous money used for wastewater collection, storage, and transportation systems or networks. It has potential to be implemented in both rural and urban settlements. Moreover, it can also offer a low-cost feasible solution for managing wastewaters at domestic dwellings in remote areas, isolated residential locations, or a cluster of 4 to 5 houses that do not avail centralized treatment facility to manage wastewaters but discharge it directly in the environment without any pretreatment. Hence, its implementation at such locations will not only help to manage wastewater and avoid the release of nutrients to the environment as well as microbial pathogens (which can be a hazard to humans coming in contact with it) but also resource recovery from the wastewater to have a sustainable life. The users will also be benefitted from the recovered resources like treated effluent meeting reusable quality standards, low level of electricity, and valuable plant biomass at the source. The technology can also be adapted to treat organic and nutrient rich wastewaters from other sources such as food, distillery, sugar, and dairy industries.
Advantages: The existing treatment facilities are mostly costly and energetically or chemically-intensive, based on the use of different treatment compartments for organics and nutrient removal, suffer due to operational complexity, source of greenhouse gases emissions, and offer no or minimal resource recovery options. Moreover, non-upgradable or complex designs make it difficult to implement or integrate emerging resource recovery and wastewater treatment technologies in the existing infrastructure. Also, the mixing of wastewater from different sources like domestic dwellings, hospitals, agricultural waste, and small-scale industries affects the performance of the centralized treatment units and thus the quality of the effluent. Therefore, low cost and sustainable decentralized technologies are highly desirable to circumvent the various issues associated with the existing wastewater collection infrastructure and treatment processes. In this context, our iHydroMET technology provides an alternate decentralized low-cost design concept to the closely-related constructed wetlands and ecological engineering technologies with a prospect for implementation at the small scales such as households. The simple and compact design can easily integrate into the household infrastructure. Moreover, the arrangement and operation of multiple smaller reactor units in the iHydroMET system make it possible to address troubleshooting, maintenance, and cleaning issues easier and independent of each other without affecting the operation of the other units, and thus without compromising the continuous wastewater treatment process which is not the case for CW and ecological engineering technologies. Importantly, iHydroMET offers a sustainable solution to manage wastewater at the point sources, and thus offers a key intervention to close the water use cycle at the source itself. It does not involve extensive wastewater collection, storage, and transportation systems or networks.

    Technology Inputs:

Imported Equipment/Spare Parts:
Equipment/Spare Parts Year ITC-HS Code
Indigenous Equipment/Spare Parts:
Equipment/Spare Parts Year ITC-HS Code
Imported Raw Materials:
Raw Materials Year ITC-HS Code
Indigenous Raw Materials:
Raw Materials Year ITC-HS Code
Existing R&D Facilities used:
Facilities Year ITC-HS Code

    R&D Investment:

R&D investment (Rs. in Lakhs):                    
Indian Source (Rs.) Foreign Source (Rs.) Year
1000000 0 NA

   Patents & Publications:

Filed Patents (No.) Granted Patents (No.) Year
0 0 NA
Submitted (No.) Published (No.) Year
0 1 2020-21

    Commercialization Potential:

Who are the Potential Licensees? Wastewater Treatment Technology Providers, Municipal Wastewater Treatment Agencies, Water Purification industry, Households, Hotels, Resorts, Restaurants
What commercially available products address
the same problem?
Company Product Problem Addressed
Would you like to develop this invention further with
corporate research support?
Would you be interested in participating in cluster based
programs for commercialization research or business
planning for your invention?
      Submitted by: The Dean Research and Development Date of Submission: 5-8-2020

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