Water purifier to address e-waste pollution

 

Toxic water waste

Sustainability Problem:

  • Given the rise of electronic waste, toxic heavy metal pollution in our waters, such as mercury, cadmium and lead, becomes a growing concern. This problem is especially prominent in countries such as China and India, where factories are recovering e-waste from around the world and discharges the heavy metals and other chemicals into the local water bodies as part of the process, which poses a great challenge to provide safe and clean drinking water for the local communities.
  • There are current solutions that range from chlorination and high-tech filtration systems that could be utilized; however, the issue of high cost and the fact that the processes depends highly on fossil fuels still prevent large scale-implementation of the technologies

Technology:

  • A renewable heavy metal filter, built from graphene nanotubes, can be rinsed with a simple vinegar concentrate and be reused – then the highly concentrated waste can be evaporated, which leaves a deposit of pure metals that can be reused in many different applications
  • This process that could remove 99% of heavy metal from the water that passes through it
  • The filter could be fitted to taps in homes, as well as in industry, to replace existing, non-renewable filtration systems such as reverse osmosis

Technology stakeholders:

  • Homeowners
  • Industry
  • Schools, hospitals, other public services
  • Government

Implementation:

  • Because the technology is made open source and available for everyone, implementation and expansion of the technology could be achieved in various ways
  • Local governments in countries with water quality concerns could work with NGOs to implement the technology at a large scale, as part of a decentralized process of providing clean water to households
  • Industry could directly produce these new filters and replace their existing ones, which will cut costs in the long run

Sources:

https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2015/aug/27/texas-teenager-water-purifier-toxic-e-waste-pollution

http://www.worldwaterweek.org/american-student-wins-2015-stockholm-junior-water-prize-for-revolutionizing-method-to-remove-electronic-waste-from-water/

http://thegrownetwork.com/one-young-man-tackles-a-huge-global-problem/

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One thought on “Water purifier to address e-waste pollution

  1. This is a great technology at the current time when almost everyone in the developed and developing world has so many tech gadgets. Graphene, a two-dimensional, monolayer material, is proving its very high potential for technologists!

    Like

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