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Texas teenager creates $20 water purifier to tackle toxic e-waste pollution

August 27, 2015

Texas teenager creates $20 water purifier to tackle toxic e-waste pollution

Karl Mathiesen in Stockholm and Tess Riley
Thursday 27 August 2015 15.32 BST

Consumer electronics, including computers and mobiles, are leaving a legacy of toxic waste in countries including China and India. Recycling factories across Asia are recovering e-waste exported from around the world, but discharging heavy metals and chemicals into local water supplies in the process.

How to safeguard drinking water for local residents is an ongoing battle, with existing solutions such as chlorination, distillation, boiling and high-tech filtration prohibitively expensive and often reliant on fossil fuels.

Now a new filtering device, invented by a US teenager, could provide a cheap and easy way to purify water.

The renewable heavy metal filter, designed by 18-year-old Perry Alagappan, removes 99% of heavy metals from water that passes through it. The filter, built from graphene nanotubes, can be rinsed with a vinegar concentrate and reused. The highly concentrated waste can then be evaporated, leaving a deposit of pure metal that can be used in many different applications.

Alagappan, who was awarded the Stockholm Junior Water Prize at this year’s World Water Week, said the filter cost just $20 (£13) to make, up to five times less than existing reverse osmosis technology.

Read more at The Guardian.

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