There are about 780 million of people in the world cannot get access to clean water. They often are also the group that lacks electricity in their daily life. A 17-year-old girl from Australia, Cynthia Sin Nga Lam, designed a model that can purify waste water and use the pollutants and residues to generate energy at the same time.
The model is called H2Pro. Initiated by solar energy, waste water is sterilised by titanium and purify through filters. Photocatalytic reactions initiated by light break down water into hydrogen and oxygen. The hydrogen is then used in a fuel cell to produce clean energy. Detergent, soap and the pollutants from the water aids producing more hydrogen.
Though currently most of the waste water treatment use this method, they often requires external power source to operate. H2Pro uses the sunlight and titanium board to produce clean energy with low cost and low maintenance fee.
Though the model used for entering the Google Science Fair 2014 is just a small portable size. Cynthia hopes her model can be adopted in a larger scale to help more people in need especially in the developing countries. For example setting the model on the roof top and allow waste water to pass though a titanium dioxide net into different pipes for producing energy and purifying water. Solar panels can be used to maximise the amount of electricity produce.
Resources: Social Enterprise Insights