Posts filed under ‘engineering’

Translation: reducing water contamination using solar energy

Arsenic and other minerals have been removed from river water using solar power by a team of Peruvian and Chilean researchers.

Researchers from Peru’s National Engineering University and Chile’s Tarapacá University have photochemically purified water from the river Locumba near Tacna, a Peruvian town by the border with Chile.

The decontaminated water is used for agricultural irrigation, though depending on the level of decontamination achieved it could be used for human consumption in future.

The technology’s ease of use means it could be used in the countries involved with the research as well as Bolivia; Andean countries where natural contamination is present in many waterways.

Juan Rodríguez, coordinator of the research in Peru, told SciDev.Net that the technology is able to reduce high levels of arsenic contamination of currently 500 parts per billion (ppb) to about 30 ppb.

The researchers designed prototypes of electrochemical equipment and decontamination filters for use in rural or difficult to access areas, which for the moment can treat 20 cubic metres of water daily.

“Modular systems can process much higher volumes, so that’s what we’re trying to achieve,” Rodríguez said.

They used a photochemical system with tubes of glass or plastic to decontaminate the water. Based on reflections the tubes get solar radiation for a few hours, which can purify water contaminated with arsenic and make it suitable for consumption.

This system can also decontaminate boron and iron from water, as sunlight accelerates the rate at which minerals coagulate and can then be removed.

According to Rodríguez, this research is of importance for Bolivia, Chile and Peru because “the problem of arsenic in waterways is of natural origin and doesn’t distinguish between borders”.

This is my translation of a story written by Zoraida Portillo on the Science and Development Network, “Reducen contaminación por arsénico usando energía solar”, published on August 3, 2010. You can read the original in Spanish here.

SciDev.Net stories are published under a Creative Commons attribution license; my translation is available under the same license. Note this license is only for this page. Other works on this website are subject to other licenses; please contact me for details if you’d like to republish other parts of this site.

August 12, 2010 at 2:26 pm Leave a comment

How to get more women in science, engineering and technology

Entrepreneurial women in science, engineering and technology in the East of England talk about what they think needs to happen to get more women in these industries.

This podcast is part of a series. You can listen to this episode, or read the transcript.

October 5, 2007 at 12:59 pm Leave a comment

Careers in technology enterprise

Entrepreneurial women in technology in the East of England talk about their experiences.

This podcast is part of a series. You can listen to this episode, or read the transcript.

October 5, 2007 at 12:44 pm Leave a comment

Innovative engineering

Entrepreneurial women in engineering in the East of England give business and careers advice.

This is part of a podcast series. You can listen to this episode or read the transcript.

September 6, 2007 at 1:50 pm Leave a comment

Careers in science enterprise

Entrepreneurial women in science in the East of England give business and careers advice, ranging from higher education decisions to becoming a CEO.

This is part of a podcast series. You can listen to this episode, or read the transcript.

August 22, 2007 at 1:05 pm Leave a comment

Moving forward: the growth of women in science

Entrepreneurial women in the East of England talk about how times have changed, why including men is important for work equality, and what could encourage more women entrepreneurs in male-dominated industries.

This is part of a podcast series. You can listen to this episode or read the transcript.

August 5, 2007 at 12:59 pm Leave a comment

How women in science balance careers with motherhood

Entrepreneurial mothers working in science, engineering and technology in the East of England discuss how they juggle work and family.

This is part of a podcast series. You can listen to this episode, or you can read the transcript.

July 13, 2007 at 7:19 am 1 comment

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