Tag Archives: water

Carnegie Mellon University study: The seed that could bring clean water to millions

24 Jun

Life Water wrote in Water and Poverty:

How Access to Safe Water Reduces Poverty:
Water and poverty are inextricably linked. Lack of safe water and poverty are mutually reinforcing; access to consistent sources of clean water is crucial to poverty reduction. Currently, 748 million people live without access to safe water and 2.5 billion live without adequate sanitation.[1]
When we talk about poverty, we primarily refer to the economically disadvantaged groups of people across wide swaths of the globe, mainly in Africa and Asia, that survive on subsistence farming or incomes of less than $2 per day. There were 2.4 billion people living in this situation in 2010. The global rate of extreme poverty, defined as the percentage of those living on less than $1.25 per day, was halved between 1990 and 2010.[2]
In that same twenty-year period, the global proportion of people living without access to clean water was halved as well, with 2.3 billion people gaining access to improved drinking water between 1990 and 2012.[3] Safe water means consistent access to and adequate supply of clean water suitable for drinking, bathing, cooking, and cleaning. According to the World Health Organization, this means safe drinking water from a source less than 1 kilometer (.62 miles) away and at least 20 liters (5.28 gallons) per person per day.[4] In some cases, safe water for irrigation or animals might be necessary to the extent that it affects individual human health and dignity. https://lifewater.org/blog/water-poverty/

Carnegie Mellon University scientists reported about their water research which could bring water to those suffering from water poverty.

Science Daily reported in The seed that could bring clean water to millions:

According to the United Nations, 2.1 billion people lack access to safely managed drinking water services, the majority of whom live in developing nations. Carnegie Mellon University’s Biomedical Engineering and Chemical Engineering Professors Bob Tilton and Todd Przybycien recently co-authored a paper with Ph.D. students Brittany Nordmark and Toni Bechtel, and alumnus John Riley, further refining a process that could soon help provide clean water to many in water-scarce regions. The process, created by Tilton’s former student and co-author Stephanie Velegol, uses sand and plant materials readily available in many developing nations to create a cheap and effective water filtration medium, termed “f-sand.”
“F-sand” uses proteins from the Moringa oleifera plant, a tree native to India that grows well in tropical and subtropical climates. The tree is cultivated for food and natural oils, and the seeds are already used for a type of rudimentary water purification. However, this traditional means of purification leaves behind high amounts of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) from the seeds, allowing bacteria to regrow after just 24 hours. This leaves only a short window in which the water is drinkable.
Velegol, who is now a professor of chemical engineering at Penn State University, had the idea to combine this method of water purification with sand filtration methods common in developing areas. By extracting the seed proteins and adsorbing (adhering) them to the surface of silica particles, the principal component of sand, she created f-sand. F-sand both kills microorganisms and reduces turbidity, adhering to particulate and organic matter. These undesirable contaminants and DOC can then be washed out, leaving the water clean for longer, and the f-sand ready for reuse.
While the basic process was proven and effective, there were still many questions surrounding f-sand’s creation and use — questions Tilton and Przybycien resolved to answer.
Would isolating certain proteins from the M. oleifera seeds increase f-sand’s effectiveness? Are the fatty acids and oils found in the seeds important to the adsorption process? What effect would water conditions have? What concentration of proteins is necessary to create an effective product? https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/06/180620150246.htm

Citation:

The seed that could bring clean water to millions
Date: June 20, 2018
Source: College of Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University
Summary:
Scientist are refining a process that could soon help provide clean water to many in water-scarce regions. The process uses sand and plant materials readily available in many developing nations.
Journal Reference:
1. Brittany A. Nordmark, Toni M. Bechtel, John K. Riley, Darrell Velegol, Stephanie B. Velegol, Todd M. Przybycien, Robert D. Tilton. Moringa oleifera Seed Protein Adsorption to Silica: Effects of Water Hardness, Fractionation, and Fatty Acid Extraction. Langmuir, 2018; 34 (16): 4852 DOI: 10.1021/acs.langmuir.8b00191

Here is the press release from Carnegie Mellon:

PUBLIC RELEASE: 20-JUN-2018
The seed that could bring clean water to millions
COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING, CARNEGIE MELLON UNIVERSITY
Share
Print E-Mail
According to the United Nations, 2.1 billion people lack access to safely managed drinking water services, the majority of whom live in developing nations.
Carnegie Mellon University’s Biomedical Engineering and Chemical Engineering Professors Bob Tilton and Todd Przybycien recently co-authored a paper with Ph.D. students Brittany Nordmark and Toni Bechtel, and alumnus John Riley, further refining a process that could soon help provide clean water to many in water-scarce regions. The process, created by Tilton’s former student and co-author Stephanie Velegol, uses sand and plant materials readily available in many developing nations to create a cheap and effective water filtration medium, termed “f-sand.”
“F-sand” uses proteins from the Moringa oleifera plant, a tree native to India that grows well in tropical and subtropical climates. The tree is cultivated for food and natural oils, and the seeds are already used for a type of rudimentary water purification. However, this traditional means of purification leaves behind high amounts of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) from the seeds, allowing bacteria to regrow after just 24 hours. This leaves only a short window in which the water is drinkable.
Velegol, who is now a professor of chemical engineering at Penn State University, had the idea to combine this method of water purification with sand filtration methods common in developing areas. By extracting the seed proteins and adsorbing (adhering) them to the surface of silica particles, the principal component of sand, she created f-sand. F-sand both kills microorganisms and reduces turbidity, adhering to particulate and organic matter. These undesirable contaminants and DOC can then be washed out, leaving the water clean for longer, and the f-sand ready for reuse.
While the basic process was proven and effective, there were still many questions surrounding f-sand’s creation and use–questions Tilton and Przybycien resolved to answer.
Would isolating certain proteins from the M. oleifera seeds increase f-sand’s effectiveness? Are the fatty acids and oils found in the seeds important to the adsorption process? What effect would water conditions have? What concentration of proteins is necessary to create an effective product?
The answers to these questions could have big implications on the future of f-sand.
Fractionation
The seed of M. oleifera contains at least eight different proteins. Separating these proteins, a process known as fractionation, would introduce another step to the process. Prior to their research, the authors theorized that isolating certain proteins might provide a more efficient finished product.
However, through the course of testing, Tilton and Przybycien found that this was not the case. Fractionating the proteins had little discernible effect on the proteins’ ability to adsorb to the silica particles, meaning this step was unnecessary to the f-sand creation process.
The finding that fractionation is unnecessary is particularly advantageous to the resource-scarce scenario in which f-sand is intended to be utilized. Leaving this step out of the process helps cut costs, lower processing requirements, and simplify the overall process.
Fatty Acids
One of the major reasons M. oleifera is cultivated currently is for the fatty acids and oils found in the seeds. These are extracted and sold commercially. Tilton and Przybycien were interested to know if these fatty acids had an effect on the protein adsorption process as well.
They found that much like fractionation, removing the fatty acids had little effect on the ability of the proteins to adsorb. This finding also has beneficial implications for those wishing to implement this process in developing regions. Since the presence or absence of fatty acids in the seeds has little effect on the creation or function of f-sand, people in the region can remove and sell the commercially valuable oil, and still be able to extract the proteins from the remaining seeds for water filtration.
Concentration
Another parameter of the f-sand manufacturing process that Tilton and Przybycien tested was the concentration of seed proteins needed to create an effective product. The necessary concentration has a major impact on the amount of seeds required, which in turn has a direct effect on overall efficiency and cost effectiveness.
The key to achieving the proper concentration is ensuring that there are enough positively charged proteins to overcome the negative charge of the silica particles to which they are attached, creating a net positive charge. This positive charge is crucial to attract the negatively charged organic matter, particulates, and microbes contaminating the water.
This relates to another potential improvement to drinking water treatment investigated by Tilton, Przybycien, and Nordmark in a separate publication. In this project, they used seed proteins to coagulate contaminants in the water prior to f-sand filtration. This also relies on controlling the charge of the contaminants, which coagulate when they are neutralized. Applying too much protein can over-charge the contaminants and inhibit coagulation.
“There’s kind of a sweet spot in the middle,” says Tilton, “and it lies in the details of how the different proteins in these seed protein mixtures compete with each other for adsorption to the surface, which tended to broaden that sweet spot.”
This broad range of concentrations means that not only can water treatment processes be created at relatively low concentrations, thereby conserving materials, but that there is little risk of accidentally causing water contamination by overshooting the concentration. In areas where exact measurements may be difficult to make, this is crucial.
Water Hardness
Water hardness refers to the amount of dissolved minerals in the water. Although labs often use deionized water, in a process meant to be applied across a range of real world environments, researchers have to prepare for both soft and hard water conditions.
Tilton and Przybycien found that proteins were able to adsorb well to the silica particles, and to coagulate suspended contaminants, in both soft and hard water conditions. This means that the process could potentially be viable across a wide array of regions, regardless of water hardness.
Tilton and Przybycien recently published a paper on this research, “Moringa oleifera Seed Protein Adsorption to Silica: Effects of Water Hardness, Fractionation, and Fatty Acid Extraction,” in ACS Langmuir.
Overall, the conclusions that Tilton, Przybycien, and their fellow authors were able to reach have major benefits for those in developing countries looking for a cheap and easily accessible form of water purification. Their work puts this novel innovation one step closer to the field, helping to forge the path that may one day see f-sand deployed in communities across the developing world. They’ve shown that the f-sand manufacturing process displays a high degree of flexibility, as it is able to work at a range of water conditions and protein concentrations without requiring the presence of fatty acids or a need for fractionation.
“It’s an area where complexity could lead to failure–the more complex it is, the more ways something could go wrong,” says Tilton. “I think the bottom line is that this supports the idea that the simpler technology might be the better one.”
###
Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.

Compassion International explains why water is important in eliminating poverty.

In Water Facts Compassion International explains the importance of water:

One of the most critical needs in the fight against poverty around the world is the need for clean water.
Deaths from diseases caused by dirty water are easily preventable. Even so, lack of access to clean water continues to complicate life for those in poverty.
• In 2015, 71 percent of the global population (5.2 billion people) used a safely managed drinking-water service – that is, one located on premises, available when needed, and free from contamination. 1
• Globally, at least 2 billion people use a drinking-water source contaminated with faeces. 1
• By 2025, half of the world’s population will be living in water-stressed areas. 1
• Since 2000, 1.4 billion people have gained access to basic drinking water services, such as piped water into the home or a protected dug well. 3
• Over 10 percent of the population still relies on untreated surface water in 22 countries. 4
• At least 10 percent of the world’s population is thought to consume food irrigated by waste water. 2
• 2.3 billion people still do not have basic sanitation facilities such as toilets or latrines. Of these, 892 million still defecate in the open, for example in street gutters, behind bushes or into open bodies of water. 2
• The countries where open defection is most widespread have the highest number of deaths of children aged under 5 years as well as the highest levels of malnutrition and poverty, and big disparities of wealth. 2
• Almost 60 percent of deaths due to diarrhea worldwide are attributable to unsafe drinking water and poor hygiene and sanitation. Hand washing with soap alone can cut the risk of diarrhea by at least 40 percent. 5
• Diarrhea caused by poor sanitation and unsafe water kills 315,000 children every year. 6
https://www.compassion.com/poverty/water.htm

The importance of the Carnegie Mellon research cannot be understated.

A healthy child in a healthy family who attends a healthy school in a healthy neighborhood ©

Resources:

What are Key Urban Environmental Problems?
http://web.mit.edu/urbanupgrading/urbanenvironment/issues/key-UE-issues.html

Understanding Neighborhood Effects of Concentrated Poverty
https://www.huduser.gov/portal/periodicals/em/winter11/highlight2.html

Where We Live Matters for Our Health: Neighborhoods and Health
http://www.commissiononhealth.org/PDF/888f4a18-eb90-45be-a2f8-159e84a55a4c/Issue%20Brief%203%20Sept%2008%20-%20Neighborhoods%20and%20Health.pdf

Where information leads to Hope. ©

Dr. Wilda.com

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART©
http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda Reviews ©
https://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

Advertisements

The 10/27/13 Joy Jar

28 Oct

Moi watched this very troubling story, Biologists search for cause of sea star deaths:

Divers were out in Puget Sound waters Saturday to see if they can help solve a mystery. Scientists are trying to figure out what’s causing one species of starfish to die in parts of Puget Sound and the waters off of Canada.
http://www.king5.com/news/environment/Biologists-search-for-cause-of-sea-star-deaths-229408861.html

The oceans are essential to sustain life on earth. Today’s deposit into the ‘Joy Jar’ is the fervent hope for a healthy ocean ecosystem.

Looking up and out, how can we not respect this ever-vigilant cognizance that distinguishes us: the capability to envision, to dream, and to invent? the ability to ponder ourselves? and be aware of our existence on the outer arm of a spiral galaxy in an immeasurable ocean of stars? Cognizance is our crest.
Vanna Bonta

You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.
Mahatma Gandhi

We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.
Mother Teresa

We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea, whether it is to sail or to watch – we are going back from whence we came.
John F. Kennedy

Ships that pass in the night, and speak each other in passing, only a signal shown, and a distant voice in the darkness; So on the ocean of life, we pass and speak one another, only a look and a voice, then darkness again and a silence.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Men go abroad to wonder at the heights of mountains, at the huge waves of the sea, at the long courses of the rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motions of the stars, and they pass by themselves without wondering.
Saint Augustine

I was like a boy playing on the sea-shore, and diverting myself now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.
Isaac Newton

Unlike a drop of water which loses its identity when it joins the ocean, man does not lose his being in the society in which he lives. Man’s life is independent. He is born not for the development of the society alone, but for the development of his self.
B. R. Ambedkar

Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean.
Ryunosuke Satoro

The progress of rivers to the ocean is not so rapid as that of man to error.
Voltaire

The least movement is of importance to all nature. The entire ocean is affected by a pebble.
Blaise Pascal

Always keep your mind as bright and clear as the vast sky, the great ocean, and the highest peak, empty of all thoughts. Always keep your body filled with light and heat. Fill yourself with the power of wisdom and enlightenment.
Morihei Ueshiba

You and I are all as much continuous with the physical universe as a wave is continuous with the ocean.
Alan Watts

How inappropriate to call this planet Earth when it is quite clearly Ocean.
Arthur C. Clarke

Ocean: A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man – who has no gills.
Ambrose Bierce

The 08/19/13 Joy Jar

19 Aug

This wonderful Seattle summer actually had what the meteorologists call measurable precipitation. Rain in Seattle means the air gets cleaned. Today’s deposit into the ‘Joy Jar’ is clean air.

Every man needs slaves like he needs clean air. To rule is to breathe, is it not? And even the most disenfranchised get to breathe. The lowest on the social scale have their spouses or their children.
Albert Camus

“The use of sea and air is common to all; neither can a title to the ocean belong to any people or private persons, forasmuch as neither nature nor public use and custom permit any possession therof.”
Elizabeth I Tudor, Letters

“oxygen

Everything needs it: bone, muscles, and even,
while it calls the earth its home, the soul.
So the merciful, noisy machine

stands in our house working away in its
lung-like voice. I hear it as I kneel
before the fire, stirring with a

stick of iron, letting the logs
lie more loosely. You, in the upstairs room,
are in your usual position, leaning on your

right shoulder which aches
all day. You are breathing
patiently; it is a

beautiful sound. It is
your life, which is so close
to my own that I would not know

where to drop the knife of
separation. And what does this have to do
with love, except

everything? Now the fire rises
and offers a dozen, singing, deep-red
roses of flame. Then it settles

to quietude, or maybe gratitude, as it feeds
as we all do, as we must, upon the invisible gift:
our purest, sweet necessity: the air.”
Mary Oliver, Thirst

“What keeps earth air breathable? Not oxygen alone. The earth is a freer place to breathe in, every time you love without calculating a return — every time you make your drudgeries and routines still more inefficient by stopping to experience the shock of beauty wherever it unpredictably flickers.”
Peter Viereck, Unadjusted Man in the Age of Overadjustment: Where History and Literature Intersect

“To keep the air fresh among words is the secret of verbal cleanliness.”
Dejan Stojanovic

“Water belongs to us all. Nature did not make the sun one person’s property, nor air, nor water, cool and clear.”
Michael Simpson, The Metamorphoses of Ovid

“The demons don’t like fresh air. What they like best is if you stay in bed with cold feet.”
Bergman, Ingmar

The 05/07/13 Joy Jar

6 May

 

It was 87 today in Seattle and in terms of Seattle weather, it was approaching hot. Other parts of the country might say it was downright pleasant. Ice is wonderful on a warm day because it cools everything. Moi is grateful that ice is so readily available. Today’s deposit into the ‘Joy Jar’ is ice.

If I offer you a glass of water, and bring back a cup of ice, I’m trying to teach you patience. And also that sometimes you get ice with no water, and later you’ll get water with no ice. Ah, but that’s life, no?
”

Jarod Kintz, Ah, but that’s life, no?

He who cannot put his thoughts on ice should not enter into the heat of dispute.”
Friedrich Nietzsche,
Human, All Too Human

Like there’s actually a need for Greenland. You can get ice at 7-Eleven.”
Steve Kluger

ice contains no future , just the past, sealed away. As if they’re alive, everything in the world is sealed up inside, clear and distinct. Ice can preserve all kinds of things that way- cleanly, clearly. That’s the essence of ice, the role it plays.”
Haruki Murakami,
Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman

One of the reasons there are so many terms for conditions of ice is that the mariners observing it were often trapped in it, and had nothing to do except look at it.”
Alec Wilkinson, The Ice Balloon: S. A. Andrée and the Heroic Age of Arctic Exploration

You never really know your friends from your enemies until the ice breaks”

Eskimo Proverb

If you are going to walk on thin ice, you might as well dance”

Unknown

The 01/20/13 Joy Jar

19 Jan

We are living in what used to be a first world nation. Because the economy has driven so many out of the middle class and into survival, there are still things that one takes for granted.  Seattle has a wonderful municipal water system and the tap water is quite good. But, even bottled water is plentiful. We don’t realize that in many parts of the world clean and safe water that won’t make one sick or dead is a rarity. Today’s deposit in the ‘Joy Jar’ is clean water.

“Five million people die unnecessarily each year because of illness related to lack of potable water. Half of them are children under the age of five. To bring it home, think about this: one child dies from lack of clean water every twelve seconds.”

         Thomas M. Kostigen, You Are Here: Exposing the Vital Link Between What We Do and What That Does to Our Planet

By polluting clear water with slime you will never find good drinking water.

                                         Aeschylus quotes

“When the well is dry, we learn the worth of water.”

                                                                            Benjamin Franklin

“When you drink the water, remember the spring.”

                                                                             Chinese Proverb

“We have the ability to provide clean water for every man, woman and child on the Earth. What has been lacking is the collective will to accomplish this. What are we waiting for? This is the commitment we need to make to the world, now.”

                 Jean-Michel Cousteau

“A river is more than an amenity, it is a treasure.”

  Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes

 “Thousands have lived without love, not one without water.”

                                                                         W.H. Auden

“Water links us to our neighbor in a way more profound and complex than any other.”

  John Thorson