Heavy metals are a serious problem, especially in China and India, where recycling factories spew heavy metals and chemicals into local water supplies during processing, creating a water contamination problem of global proportions. But one American teenager has a solution–and it costs just $20 to make.
Current solutions include treating water contamination with chlorination, filtration and distillation–but these methods are fossil fuel dependent and expensive. That’s what 18-year-old Perry Alagappan of Houston, TX realized after visiting his grandparents in India, where he was concerned with the severe water contamination problem.
So he went home and designed a heavy metal filter from graphene nanotubes that won him the Stockhold Junior Water Prize at this year’s World Water Week, The Guardian reported.
Contaminated water goes into the filter and comes out 99% clean; the waste evaporates, leaving pure metals behind that can then be reused. Best of all? The filter can be rinsed with vinegar and reused–again and again.
Did I mention it costs just $20?
Kids these days. They just might save the world.