Year of Foundation: 2017
Addresses the following SDGs: 6 (clean water & sanitation), 7 (affordable and clean energy), 9 (industry, innovation & infrastructure), 11 (sustainable cities and communities), and 13 (climate action)
Waste management in India
India has 17% of the world’s population and only 4% of world fresh water resources. The existent fresh water bodies deteriorate very quickly due to untreated sewage and effluent discharge. According to data from 2015, in India, an estimated sewage of 62,000 MLD was generated per day, but no more than 18,883 MLD (21%) of sewage was actually treated, and out of 816 municipal sewage treatment plants (STPs) listed across India, only 522 actually worked. And what is worse: Due to climate change, clean water for irrigation is expected to reduce even more by approx. 25% by 2050. The Gujarat-based Indian start-up REVY Environmental Solutions is fighting against the odds and working on adapt biotechnological waste water treatment solutions to foster reuse of water resources while recovering energy in the form of biogas as their core expertise. Beyond this, REVY is also extracting liquid bio-fertilizers, such as nitrogen and phosphorus from dye waste waters, and is planning on setting out for green hydrogen production from waste in the near future.
According to Dr. Vanita Prasad, women entrepreneur and founder of REVY Environmental Solutions Pvt. Ltd., “We are obliged to give (enough of) clean water and sanitation to our future generations, because water is in limited quantity and we are consuming vast amounts right now.”
A visionary in the realm of bacteria
As a biotechnology student with a passion for immunology, Dr. Prasad quickly learned what grave health issues a lack of proper sanitation systems and fresh water supply can create. Later, she pursued her PhD in Biotechnology at the University of Delhi and managed to isolate a bacterial strain that was able to actually produce green hydrogen. She filed a patent right away, but back then, nobody was ready to talk about today’s so-called “fuel of the future” yet. So Dr. Prasad decided to concentrate on the serious problems deriving from improper sanitation and lack of fresh water supply that she had learned about already in her early student years. She continued her biotechnological research and career, filed for a further patent in the field of ligno-cellulosic research and biomethane production, and eventually took on a job as R&D Head in a water treatment company, providing bio-cultures to enhance the anaerobic unit of effluent treatment plants (ETPs) for industrial waste, where her core expertise became waste treatment and biomethane production through anaerobic digestion (AD).
REVY’s practical market approach
In 2016, Dr. Prasad’s scientific acumen, expertise in biomethanation and relentless endeavour to find an economically viable and sustainable waste water treatment solution landed her into the Gujarat-based Savli Technology & Biotech Incubator. The same year, the Government of India’s support in the form of the BIRAC BIG research grant, also provided her the necessary financial means to resign from her former job, set up a full lab facility, research full-time on several biotechnological project validation processes with great results, and file for even more patents. Then, in 2017, Dr. Prasad and her team founded her start-up REVY Environmental Solutions Ltd.
Its name stands for Dr. Prasad’s continuous circular approach and mission: “Renewable energy varied”. Since then, REVY is co-creating cost effective biotechnological solutions for corporates, amongst which also Pepsi-Co, directly at their plant sites. In 2019, REVY commissioned a 20 m³ waste water treatment UASB plant for its quantitative validation purposes, and in 2020, REVY has already grown to successfully collaborate with nine Indian biogas plants. In 2020 alone, REVY has processed approx. 2,000T of solid waste and about 5,000 m³ of waste water until now, saving tons of CO2 emissions while helping to gain energy out of waste and obtaining treated re-usable water at the same time.
More good things to come
Today, REVY is able to treat kitchen wastes, as well as most complex wastes from the paper mills, pharmaceutical, fertilizer, dye, distilleries, and petrochemicals industries by adopting pre-treatment, advanced anaerobic, aerobic and tertiary treatment methods. Beyond this, with its comprehensive microbial bank, REVY is able to mix match to any R&D purpose and supply commercially viable and cost-effective fertilizer, biogas, and waste treatment solutions. The start-up has already received inquiries from several African countries, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Nepal, amongst others, and is planning to scale up all throughout India and beyond. “And now that the time is right, in a year or so, we will be focussing on hydrogen production and help crack methane,” Dr. Prasad explains.
With their innovative biotechnological approach, REVY is actively addressing SDG 6 (clean water & sanitation), SDG 7 (affordable and clean energy), and SDG 9 (industry, Innovation & infrastructure), SDG 11 (sustainable cities and communities), and SDG 13 (climate action). The award winning start-up REVY was onboarded to the GSS in November 2019 and will be showcasing at the ISC3 and Think Beyond ™ Innovation Accelerator’s Virtual Investor Forum 2020 from October 21st to 23rd.