Hey everyone, let's get started. Let's all welcome @Ryan Beltrán to the Hack Chat today. We're going to discuss clean water tech and using STEM to maximize its impact.
Ryan, can you get us going with a little bit about yourself and Makewater.org?
Welcome @Ryan Beltrán !
Thank you @Dan Maloney ! Hi everyone!
So I really got interested in electrocoagulation years ago.
And I read up on studies saying it had water treatment potential but there was alot of research that still needed to be done.
I connected with a local makerspace and an electrical engineer that taught me about open source and arduinos etc and we started making small batch testing prototypes to test on different water.
People would reach out asking me if it worked on different types of water and I had no idea! So I wanted to get to a point where I could say here build a kit and find out yourself but please share what you find.
We connected with a water utility education department and we put these prototypes in schools and students really liked tinkering and self teaching about how it all worked.
Check out that video for a quick idea on how the MakeWater program works.
So I'm not a professional anything when it comes to water. I've just been following my passion for what the tech can do and trying to share about it and trying to crowdsource research.
ooh sounds very interesting especially with the STEM bit of getting the kids etc involved!
So is electrocoagulation used on big-scale water treatment projects? Are there commercial treatment plants that use it?
Yeah! That is sorta overshadowing the tech itself now. I realized how it can be a vehicle for self teaching.
Have you found a density limitation - say for how dense the debris is in the water before the effectiveness of the process is belayed?
What's it like treading the line between real-world solution and the educational aspect? Is it difficult to convince people that it's "real" if they see it being used in classrooms?
@Dan Maloney Yes electrocoagulation is used in large scale waste water processes. With some stipulation that it uses to much energy but I believe it needs more research to find more efficiency.
@Dan Maloney We do not have plans to make it for a large commercial project. We want to focus on small batch use open source and research and help ignite others to make their own large scale uses for the tech in an open source way.
Are there materials (debris) that seems more resistant to the process than others?
Well it's good because all the people that learn about it can help iterate the tech in the future!
@Erin RobotGrrl Good question. I feel like more of a connector than a convincer at the moment. I like that the kits and curriculum tend to speak for themselves.
@Erin RobotGrrl we do alot of connecting real world with classrooms byt people who engage with the program and alot of come to us via hackaday. For instance a Bolivian group want to use it to teach about water education but also experiment with students on local water.
I would think STEM teachers are probably grateful for an alternative to robots and rockets for their kids.
@Vije Miller so far yeah there are some things that don't coagulate as easy as others. I think like...
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