Safe drinking water could become more accessible after Victoria University of Wellington student Eldon Tate won a scholarship to develop a new solar water treatment system.
The PhD student has received a $10,000
AMP National Scholarship to carry out his research, awarded at the 2014 Do Your
Thing ceremony in Auckland.
He also receives additional business support and
mentoring to the value of $4,000.
researcher says he is delighted to win the scholarship and the money will be a
“To have this
extra funding means I can take the technology out of the lab
and start real-world testing.”
Eldon will develop
a low cost water-purification method that uses the energy from the sun,
and unique nano-composite
materials he has created in his research, to generate clean drinking water.
The system aims
to be inexpensive enough to suit developing countries that desperately require access
to clean drinking water.
“There are no
running costs and it won’t require a huge infrastructure set up or large
filtration system. This will make it really cheap and efficient,” says Eldon.
high-intensity ultraviolet light has been used to purify water but Eldon
has developed tiny molecules that have shown to purify water using visible
actually breaks down the contaminants, so there isn’t any by-product or waste
left over,” says Eldon.
scholarship means Eldon can build a test model system designed to support the needs
family home. He hopes to have this completed within a year.
research forms part of his PhD study—he is working with supervisor Professor
from the School of Chemical and Physical Sciences to develop the system.
“It will be
great to continue the work we’ve already done into an application. It couldn’t
have come at a better time.”