Pak Vitae is a promising Pakistani startup that has developed low-cost nanotech water filters and aims to deliver clean drinking water to thousands of families across the country.
Started by Shayan Sohail, a Chemical Engineer by profession, Pak Vitae aspires to save lives by providing clean water access for a very low cost. They have developed portable, life-long, indigenous, off-the-grid Ultra-filters that can remove impurities and diseases from water for just $3.
The company is currently working with NGOs, government organizations, Army, educational and health institutes, and micro-entrepreneurs to bring clean affordable water to the people.
Mentored by Faisal Sherjan and Khurram Zafar, the startup was incubated at NIC Lahore. Pak Vitae has three leads for investment including 47 Ventures, Saramayacar, and Abraaj.
How Does it Work?
They have already provisionally patented their technology in Pakistan and are looking forward to filing 7 more patents for different variations in 2018.
By adopting new membrane spinning methods, additives, and different compositions of bore solution, dope solution and by optimizing the spinning parameters to near excellent point, we have achieved a membrane spinning speed that is 7.78 times faster than conventional hollow fiber spinning speed. This innovation has made a great impact on reduction of cost by reducing the uptime of machinery, power requirement, labor cost, and material wastage. Also, by increasing the flux, we have achieved a 3 times higher flow rate with a much smaller membrane area which is also a dominant factor in reducing the manufacturing time and material required.
We have added hydrophobic dope polymers in order to induce water repulsion on the membrane surface. Due to this, the water never physically comes in contact with the membrane surface and hence the deposition of contaminant become minimal. During the back wash, membrane is easily cleaned using its own filtered water only. The inner skin of the membrane is hydrophillic which attracts the water in (outside-in configuration) and hence contributes in an increased flux.”
The filter has been tested by a number of organizations including SGS International Labs, one of the world’s leading certification companies, as well as local governmental organizations like the Punjab Public Health Department.
Even though Pak Vitae has a long way to go to bring its plan of providing clean water access to millions around the globe to fruition, it has already bagged a number of remarkable achievements. Earlier this year, it won the Hult Prize, a year-long annual competition organized by the UN.
In just $50, with our setup, a microentrepreneur can provide 1000 liters of clean drinking water every day.
The startup has also raised a significant amount of seed funding and is looking to raise 300,000 USD to complete its next 6 month’s tasks and to secure potential orders of 22 Million USD.
Moreover, they are on track to launch the biggest water testing lab in Karachi and 4 mobile labs in Lahore, Islamabad/Rawalpindi, Faisalabad, and Multan. By the end of March 2019, with help from HACH international, 45,000 tests (bacteriological, virological, and chemical tests) will have been carried out all around Pakistan.