University of New Hampshire
Mentor: Dr. James Malley, UNH Department of Civil Engineering
Desalinization of Ocean Water with UV light Radiation Pretreatment
Around the world, especially in developing countries, access to a clean water supply is becoming very limited. Due to these issues water reuse techniques have begun to rise in the world of water treatment and supply. This research addresses one water reuse technique called Nano filtration. This is a pressure driven treatment technique where contaminated water is “pushed” through a porous membrane only allowing water molecules and some ions through. This process removes bacteria, dissolved solids, most multivalent ions, organic molecules and viruses, making the water sanitary enough for use. Although it is proven to be very effective it is also energy intensive. Due to this it is important to minimize any factors that can cause the energy requirement to rise. One of the biggest factors that would increase the energy is an increase in pressure and in this system the most potent factor that increases pressure is called biofouling. Biofouling is simply when bacteria grow on the filter, once caught, and begin to clog up the pores. What this research aims to accomplish is to develop a way to reduce the transmembrane pressure by using UV light as a pretreatment system. This pretreatment process is expected to inactivate the bacteria to prevent them from multiplying thus reducing the potential of biofouling. If the use of UV light as a pretreatment proves to make the current filtration process more energy inexpensive, efficient and cost effective then a more effective treatment process can be used to meet the water needs of in developing countries.
Mentor: Dr. Vinka Craver, URI Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Water Quality Testing and Treatment
There are about 326 million cubic miles of water, approximately one percent of that is suitable for human consumption. According to the World Health Organization, only 60% of the world has access to adequate drinking water leaving an unfortunate 40% without clean water. There are several reasons for the phenomena; the first is accessibility and the second is cost. This study focuses on providing a solution by creating an affordable and potent home base filtration system with a ceramic filter pot embedded with silver nanoparticles. So far, studies have been conducted on the ceramic pots ability to remove tributary. Studies have also been conducted on silver element’s antibacterial properties. The current study consists of putting these two factors together to create a powerful, yet simple filtration system. What we have done, is to combine the previous studies to determine the effectiveness of the ceramic pot versus the silver impregnated ceramic pots. More specifically, the study consisted of figuring out how much silver was sufficient for the ceramic pot to complete its function. The study also measured the silver nanoparticles antibacterial properties’ effectiveness when compared to normal silvers antibacterial properties in different types of water systems. After further testing and data collection we intend to complete the simple yet effective filtration system in hopes of reducing the unfortunate 40% to less than 10%.