Even though the concept is as zany as a Saturday Morning Cartoon premise, but can one use water to purify water making it safe to drink?
By: Ringo Bones
Two years ago, a Civil Engineering sophomore at the University of Buffalo named Deshawn Henry managed to use one of those zany Saturday Morning Cartoon premise as a working principle behind his device that uses water to purify water making it safe for everyone to drink. And best of all, the method is by far the most inexpensive way so far to provide constant supply of clean drinking water to over a billion people who still don’t have access to it. Unsafe drinking water results in the death of children below five years of age every minute, but Deshawn Henry’s invention could soon reduce childhood mortality due to a lack of access to clean drinking water.
The device itself has a rather humble appearance, with a six-foot-tall frame of 2-by-4 pieces of lumber topped with a lens constructed of plastic sheeting and water which focuses down onto a treatment container for the water. The simplicity of the design and the inexpensive nature of the building materials mean that many living in impoverished areas would be able to obtain the technology and provide clean water for their families. Once operational, Henry’s Water Lens can eliminate up to 99.9-percent of pathogens in a liter of water in about an hour by magnifying sunlight and heating a liter of water to about 130 to 150 degrees Fahrenheit. All in all, given the promising initial results of being able to purify water using relatively low cost materials, Henry’s Water Lens is not bad for a “mere” summer project.