To the untrained eye, the Puralytics “lily pad” looks like nothing more than a flat piece of mesh, approximately one foot in diameter, passively floating on the water. But its appearance belies its power. So dubbed because of how it mimics the water plant by that name, a nanotech lily pad uses the sun to activate five photochemical processes that break down or remove organics, coliforms, and metals from storm water.
The emerging technology used to create the pads is patterned after Puralytics’ award-winning nanotechnology for drinking water purification. The process actually destroys contaminants, so it eliminates the problem of disposing of most toxic substances left over from traditional filtering methods. Continue reading
EVOO, a cooking school in Cannon Beach, Ore., wants to produce gourmet sea salt from the Pacific Ocean, so they enlisted the help of three senior chemical engineering students — Austin Danielson, Cameron Oden, and Paul Robideau — to develop a sustainable technology to achieve their goal. Besides producing salt products that can be variously flavored, the team wants to create a potable water byproduct that can be used to irrigate a community garden and provide a water source for animals. Continue reading
What if a low-cost solar thermal ice production system could be used to refrigerate vaccines without electricity? Adam Gage, Peter Shoaf, Jeromie Webster, and Logan Olsen think it would be pretty cool. The team developed a method to harness naturally occurring adsorption/desorption cycles to help developing countries increase vaccine availability. Continue reading