A group of students from Mohandas College of Engineering came up to combat the need of quality packaged water distributed in the city. They have developed a solution which will help to purify water by making it E coli free. As the city was also facing issues related to the safe consumption of bottled water.
The water disinfection project was named as ‘Design of a water disinfection system using silver and copper nanoparticle impregnated coconut shell waste carbon’. The students who have conducted this project are Shilpa K Nayana; Akhila Krishnan C; and Shilpa Raj under the guidance of professors, K M Usha, the principal investigator and S S Shijina, the co-investigator of the project.
Speaking about the innovation, Shilpa K Nayana said, “The inspiration behind this project is the sense of responsibility towards society as citizens in general and biotechnologists in particular. After the floods, the presence of E- Coli had become a major concern with many packaged water bottles testing positive to the presence of the bacteria. This is why we thought of developing a project using raw materials which could not only help in purifying water but also act as a disinfectant which can kill 99 percent of E Coli.”
The prime objective of our project was to decontaminate drinking water by making use of the raw materials, which are available in abundance. Also, it includes setting up a synergetic system capable of adsorption as well as destructing microbial organisms. This innovative attempt makes use of the anti-bacterial property of nanoparticles and absorption. Silver and copper are synthesised and impregnated onto the coconut waste to provide disinfection against E Coli and other organisms.
She also said, “Unlike the normal water purifiers that only help in purifying water but fail in disinfecting, our innovation has both the purifying and disinfecting facility.”
The method developed by the students for disinfecting water is very safe and cheap. The team was also selected for funding by Kerala Technological University (KTU) Center for Engineering Research and Development (CERD) under the scheme ‘CERD Student Project 2018’.