Using a sum of Rs 5 lakh he won at the Power of Ideas programme at IIM Ahmedabad, Pune-based Mayur Patil launched his startup, Small Spark Concepts, that builds innovative air filters
Like many college students during his graduation, Mayur Patil from Nashik struggled to save money. One of the major pain points for him was the two-stroke fuel-guzzling motorcycle.
But addressing this very problem has helped him build an innovative device that he claims will reduce carbon emissions by 40 per cent and increase the mileage of vehicles.
“I was the second owner of the motorcycle, and it had poor fuel efficiency with a mileage of 16 to 20 KMPL compared to 35 KMPL found in the market. I was spending about 50 per cent of the pocket money on fuel and wanted to save on the same,” he tells The Better India.
Mayur, a mechanical engineering student, then decided to solve the issue himself. “I cleaned the engine parts, fixed the carburettor, crankcase, cleaned the piston, changed the spare parts and oil, which helped improve engine performance and improved its mileage to 40 KMPL,” he says.
Feeling encouraged and motivated, he tried focussing on the air filter to improve the vehicle performance.
“The air filters in vehicles are made from filter paper. They are dipped in a chemical solution to have charged negative ions which help inefficient combustion of fuel and air,” he explains.
Mayur created his filter from a non-woven cloth material and dipped it in locally available chemicals to get the negative ions/ ionization effect. “I tried the filter, and it worked wonders. On the two-stroke motorcycle, the mileage increased to 62 KMPL. I conducted the trials for eight months, and the efficiency remained the same,” he says.
An increase in mileage pointed to two aspects — the engine fuel combustion improved, reducing hazardous pollution and increasing fuel efficiency.
Impressed by his achievement, he tried the filter in the other two and four-wheelers. “I experimented with them on buses by seeking approvals with one of the Regional Transport Corporations (RTC) in southern India. The efficiency improved in those vehicles too. However, I wanted to use industrial chemicals and fibres for the filter to ensure commercial viability, which are legally accessible to companies only,” he says.
A startup with a cause
On submitting his idea to IIM Ahmedabad in 2015, he was selected for their Power of Ideas programme. “It is a startup challenge competition that helps groom innovative ideas and train the mindset of budding entrepreneurs. I won a prize of Rs 5 lakh during the 15-day boot camp,” he says.
A year later, Mayur used the award money to scale his product commercially and incorporated his startup, Small Spark Concepts in Pune. “I worked part-time at a garage to meet my expenses and continue investing in improving the product,” he adds.
Later, he came up with a patented air filter that reduces carbon emissions by 40 per cent and increases fuel efficiency. “The filter improves the efficiency of two-wheelers by 30-40 per cent and 10-20 per cent in four-wheelers and buses. Moreover, they have a lifespan of 1 lakh km and do not need replacement in the vehicle’s lifetime,” he shares.
Mayur says his bike filter for Royal Enfield will be available on Amazon by mid December 2021 for Rs 2,200. “A conventional filter costs about Rs 700 but needs replacement every 6,000 km. The filter we offer will work 20 times more with cleaning,” he adds.
Besides, filters for other vehicles are also available.
He plans to introduce air filters for a range of vehicles and diesel engines. “Using these air filters in vehicles and diesel engine generators can reduce the carbon emission by 5 per cent, a significant figure for a country like India. I aim to introduce the air filters to regional transport offices of other states,” he adds.
Mayur says that he is devising a model where travel agencies and transport companies can use the filters and earn carbon credits for the number of carbon emissions saved in the process.
“Recently, I received a funding of Rs 90 lakh under Atal New India Challenge (ANIC), which I will utilise to set up a full-fledged plant with in-house research and development, manufacturing unit and develop pollution capturing devices,” he says.
But for now, he feels glad to have created a product that can address the burning issue of climate change. “Every entrepreneur has a dream of creating a product and making it a success. But my product will also benefit the environment, and I am proud of that,” Mayur says.
Edited by Yoshita Rao