These IPN students work on a project that can produce clean fuel from sewage and polluted rivers
Two students of Industrial Chemical Engineering of the National Polytechnic Institute (IPN) developed a prototype consisting of a purifier and an electrolyzer, to take advantage of the effluents from sewage and polluted rivers to produce clean fuel.
The mechanism can be fixed or portable and would be used in areas of high marginalization of the country, the IPN said in a statement.
Gimfi, which in the Otomi language means “dirty water”, has a filter with layers of cotton, sand, coal, marble, gravel, and tezontle, whose function is to retain large solids and organic particles.
It also serves to eliminate bad smells and colors, highlighting the creators of the project, Jeimmie Gabriela Espino Ramírez, and Lisset Dayanira Neri Pérez.
With the advice of professor and researcher Martín Daniel Trejo Valdez, the students look for hydrogen generation be functional, that is, instead of storing it, it is used to feed stoves and burners.
“This type of purifiers could generate their own fuel from wastewater, it would only be enough to collect water regardless of its degree of contamination,” they detailed.
Students of the Higher School of Chemical Engineering and Extractive Industries (ESIQIE) indicated that to generate hydrogen by electrolysis they use electrical energy.
However, they will make the necessary modifications to add a solar cell and make Gimfi a sustainable and low-cost prototype.
The students, both from the state of Hidalgo, explained that with samples collected from different areas of the state such as Tetepango, Mixquiahuala, and Atitalaquia, among others, they introduce 900 milliliters of contaminated water in a PET bottle to obtain a visibly cleaner liquid in a 30 minute span.
The liquid obtained with this filtering procedure contains a greater amount of minerals than drinking water, as it is an effluent residue.
This is beneficial for the electrolysis process performed by the students to produce hydrogen since it increases their conductivity.
The young women, who obtained the second place in the area of Exact and Natural Sciences of the upper level in the thirteenth edition of the Metropolitan Science Expo 2018.
They developed their prototype for three years, between studies of contaminated water and various analyzes of the materials for the filter, which allowed to establish the order and the ideal amount of the substrates.
They also achieved an adequate size for the hydrolyzer, so that as a whole it could be portable. The students do not rule out patenting, shortly, their project.
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