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3D Printing with Brine

We plan on using brine from desalination plants to print construction materials and make desalination plants have almost zero waste.

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The nationwide drought has become a major problem in California the past few years. Cities in California have had to reduce water consumption by up to one-third this year alone. Before, desalination was an option too costly and wasteful to consider but as the water crisis reaches a boiling point, it seems to be the nations best solution to the ongoing drought.
Desalination is a method that purifies salt water to create fresh drinking water. Most desalination plants use reverse osmosis to purify salt water which uses great amounts of energy and creates a nasty,dangerous bi-product, brine. Brine is made up of salt and different chemicals used during the reverse osmosis process. Brine is highly acidic and is usually pumped directly back into the ocean creating dead zones where the water is too acidic for anything to live.
Our mission is to use this byproduct towards a positive solution. Combining brine with adhesives turns it into a usable 3D printing filament.

Our project solves the problem desalination plants bring by eliminating the negative effects of dumping toxic brine into the ocean. Brine is the byproduct of reverse-osmosis, the process desalination plants all over the world utilize to create fresh drinking water. Our printer is just a prototype, illustrating our essential goal of 3D printing housing by using brine while cheapening the cost of making other construction materials. This printer will be using a coaxial extruder to create its prints. The extruder combines two different materials to make one cohesive filament to print with. By using a modified printer with this attachment we should be able to create the print and complete our goal.

  • 1 × Coaxial Extruder A special type of extruder that utilizes a unique three way extrusion method that basically surrounds a material with a compatible material such as HMA.
  • 1 × Brine from a Desalination Plant A liquid substance, the byproduct of the desalination process.
  • 1 × HMA A type of thermoplastic that aquires adhesion properties when heated.
  • 1 × 3D Printer We will use a desktop 3D printer as our prototype.

  • Project Log #3

    Samdmendel07/29/2015 at 17:05 0 comments

    7/29/15: We communicated with the company Orbital Composties to seek for assistance with attaining a coaxial extruder, which is exactly what we need to use for our project.

  • Project Log #2

    Samdmendel07/29/2015 at 16:54 0 comments

    7/24/15: The team took a trip to the west basin desalination facility and had a private tour with the director. We learned more in depth about the entire desalination process and they were kind enough to give us a hand when their new facility opens by providing us with brine (the salty, desalination byproduct) .

  • Project Log #1

    Brian Ngan07/22/2015 at 16:36 0 comments

    7/22/2015 - We confirmed our visit with the nearby desalination plant to obtain the brine and to learn more in depth about the desalination process.

View all 3 project logs

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