Ashwin Manoj is a member of the Singapore Academy of Young Engineers and Scientists (SAYES) and is currently a student with the United World College South East Asia.
Although young, Ashwin is not new to the Singapore Mini Maker Faire, having participated and showcased a mood-sensing jacket last year. This year, Ashwin has been working on a water purification device and would like to share his project with you. Read more about his first-hand account here.
What is the project about?
“I have been developing a water purification device that uses an ultrasonic transducer to generate standing sounds waves within the tank, acting as the mechanism for purification. The standing wave results in the formation of node (minimal vibrations) and antinode (maximum vibrations) points. As node points are the points of minimal vibration, sedimentation and other impure substances move towards this point from the antinodes, as it would be the point of maximum stability. As the impure particles move towards the node points, they are held stationary and begin to aggregate together. They become denser as a result and settle at the bottom of the tank for purification.”
What would you like to achieve with it?
“As the aggregation occurs in a relatively fast time frame, a flow of running water as opposed to a stationary tank of water would be more feasible in the ultimate objective of large-scale purification projects. This would be the next objective in the development of this device.
Apart from these aspects, the ultimate goal of this project is to create a sustainable, revolutionary and fast manner of purifying large masses of water at once and hence implementing these devices in the water supply of less privileged countries.”
What motivated you to work on it?
“Personally, I am a member of a service group within my school that helps rural villages in India secure drinking water by building wells and other such charitable projects. However, the degree of water purity within these villages is still not adequate despite these efforts and I became aware of the severe hardships people without drinkable water are forced to endure. This provided me a chief motivation to carry forth my research and develop a device that is capable of being implemented in such locations. Drinkable water is a fundamental necessity for people of all walks of life and I personally believe that everyone is entitled to a steady and sustainable supply.”
What challenges have you faced?
“The full purification of water requires the removal of infinitesimal bacteria that are as dangerous as the larger impure particles. Initial research into this area has shown that the ultrasonic transducer does have the effect of removing the cell membranes of complex microbes thus facilitating chemical testing and higher rates of purity within the water. However, the challenge is to identify which microbes require treatment and to what degree the water needs to be pure.
In addition during the initial stages of my project, the impure particles did not aggregate to a desired degree and thus did not settle. This challenge was overcome however through the adjustment of the frequency towards an optimal value and a change in the orientation of the transducer in the tank.”
Ashwin shared that his project is in its initial stages, and has been developed over the last month and a half. Do you have any suggestions for him? Do speak with him at the SAYES booth at the Singapore Mini Maker Faire this weekend!