Event Title

Water Purification for the Developing World

Advisor(s)

Dr. Mark Carlson; Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy

Discipline

Engineering

Start Date

21-4-2021 9:30 AM

End Date

21-4-2021 9:45 AM

Abstract

In many communities around the world, people have no option but to drink from contaminated water sources, resulting in 3.4 million deaths annually. Our goal was to reduce this number by creating filters to eliminate 99.9% of bacteria while maintaining a 2L/hr filtration rate to sustain a family in the developing world. Sections of white pine boughs, approximately 2.5-4 cm in diameter, were secured into the necks of 500-700mL plastic water bottles. Flow rates were extrapolated from the time taken to collect 300 mL, with initial reservoir heights ranging from 10 to 18 cm. When supplied with clean water, the wood filters were capable of meeting the 2L/hr requirement (with flow rates ranging from 1.6L/hr to 6L/hr), but the xylem appeared to clog when particulates were introduced. A stainless steel mesh pre-filter was added to remove larger particles and it reduced the overall particle load, a result confirmed both visually and quantitatively via spectroscopy. The future direction of this project would involve bacterial testing, filter lifespan evaluation, and automation of the filtration process.

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Apr 21st, 9:30 AM Apr 21st, 9:45 AM

Water Purification for the Developing World

In many communities around the world, people have no option but to drink from contaminated water sources, resulting in 3.4 million deaths annually. Our goal was to reduce this number by creating filters to eliminate 99.9% of bacteria while maintaining a 2L/hr filtration rate to sustain a family in the developing world. Sections of white pine boughs, approximately 2.5-4 cm in diameter, were secured into the necks of 500-700mL plastic water bottles. Flow rates were extrapolated from the time taken to collect 300 mL, with initial reservoir heights ranging from 10 to 18 cm. When supplied with clean water, the wood filters were capable of meeting the 2L/hr requirement (with flow rates ranging from 1.6L/hr to 6L/hr), but the xylem appeared to clog when particulates were introduced. A stainless steel mesh pre-filter was added to remove larger particles and it reduced the overall particle load, a result confirmed both visually and quantitatively via spectroscopy. The future direction of this project would involve bacterial testing, filter lifespan evaluation, and automation of the filtration process.