Designer Cynthia Lam On The Graywater Bioremediation Frontier
17-year-old Cynthia Lam of Melbourne, Australia wants to help people living without access to clean water and electricity -- and has developed a device that can purify water and generate electricity using solar power.
The inventrix is now bringing her potentially life-changing invention, which she calls H2Pro, to a global stage...
The H2Pro device is made up of two parts -- an upper unit for photocatalytic water-purification and hydrogen-generation and a bottom unit where additional water filtration takes place.
- Dirty water enters the top of the device and it passes through a titanium mesh which, when activated by the sun, sterilizes the water. This photocatalytic reaction also splits the water into oxygen and hydrogen -- the latter of which is used by a hydrogen fuel cell to generate power. Impurities in the water such as detergents also provide more hydrogen; thus, allowing the device to generate more power.
- testing revealed that H2prO could decompose 90% of organic pollutants in the water in the space of two hours.
- While the theory shows that the reaction should produce enough hydrogen to generate electricity, in practice, H2prO’s energy generation is still erratic. Lam wrote: "the removal of organic pollutant was examined to be excellent"; however, she was unsatisfied with its energy generation and plans to "keep searching for economical approach(es) to 'practicalize' the electricity-generation unit."
"I think people around the world don't really understand how serious water pollution and the energy crisis are. I'd really like to finalize the design, because it could potentially help people in developing countries. It would be great to have clean water and electricity supplied sustainably, without needing any outside help. It would be awesome."
With the H2Pro, Cynthia aims to tackle two problems at once: how to provide clean water and electricty to the many people around the world who have neither. Currently 780 million people lack access to clean water, while 1.2 billion live without electricity. The H2Pro could change that using photocatalytic technology, which simultaneously purifies water and generates electricity using only sunlight.
March 26 2015
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