A wish list for cell phone based applications:

  1. Water quality scanner using a mobile camera; any sensor based attachment or any other cuvette based analytical device.
  2. Mobile based UV/LED properly encased for safety purposes and used to disinfect water or even food material.
  3. Mobile based water quality testing facility in terms of pollutant loads in minerals, chloride and fluoride salts, aluminium oxide, nitrates and lead. A major source of lead pollution (known to affect mental development in children) comes from the material used for sealing conduit pipes while nitrates come from leaching in wells.

(Honey Bee 22(3) 18-19, 2012).
Common Practices reported for cleaning water:

  • Sri Lalit Das, IPS

Superintendent of Police, Jagatsinghpur, Orissa
I have been receiving all the copies of Honey Bee which are quite interesting. I faced a super cyclone on 29/30-11-99 at Jagatsinghpur District where I am presently working as S.P. Jagatsinghpur. I would like to share an innovation. My personal pond got damaged because of decomposition of rotten leaves. The servants working had put few logs of â€˜jamun’ Blackberry trees inside the pond. When enquired, they answered that logs of Blackberry trees acts as a cleanser and purifies the water. There are  also other trees whose branches can be used to purify water. It acts slowly but in the same manner as putting lime to purify the water.
(How much I admire your ‘Sujhbhuj’ to take the time off and send this  idea to Honey Bee! Please let us have the name of the thoughtful servants of your whose idea it was. If  s/he have more idea like this we will carry a feature on such survival technologies. Please do write to us. We hope the cyclone victims have now recouped their spirit. :Ed)

  • Purifying River Water in Herbal Way     

Details: P C Behera says that women of his village use a novel way of purifying muddy water taken from the nearby river, which flows through the Hindol subdivision of the district. 
The river water in rainy seasons is very muddy. Behera says that during this time the women of Jhadasandha use a wild fruit called katak (Strychnos nux-vomica) to purify the muddy water. They rub katak on the interior surface of aluminium or brass pots and keep the river water in them for 30 minutes to one hour. The mud settles down completely in this much time and the water becomes visibly clean and free of germs. (Honey Bee, 14(1):11, 2003).
Technologies developed for water purification: Techpedia.in.

  1. YaskKulshreshtha from the Department of Civil Engineering, Birla Vishvakarma Mahavidyalaya (Engineering College) Vallabh Vidyanagar, Gujarat  has designed an automatic mechanical way to purify water using chemical (chlorine tablet solution and Moringa oleifera solution),useful for domestic tanks, providing better quality of potable drinking water to common man at an affordable price.  All the devices available in market for cleaning of water are very costly, example-reverse osmosis cost around Rs 15,000 and it consumes electricity. These devices are not affordable by common or poor people. His setup is totally mechanical and very cheap (cost around 100-200 Rs). It can be manufactured from waste material making it almost cost free. A person has to just change chemical storage can, once in every eight days. Yash says that this project is also a solution to various diseases persisting in Indian villages.
  2. Six students from LE College, Morbi felt that there was a need for low cost injection moulding machine. Kavit, Ashish, Hiren, Sharad, Shailesh, and Mayur under the guidance of Professors Chavda and Akhariya designed a fully functional injection moulding machine in just about Rs. 45,000. It can work at par if not better with costlier machines in terms of wax moulding for investment casting.
  3. Five civil Engineering students  of Dr S & S S Gandhi College Of Engg & Tech Surat, viz., Nekzad, Hemant, Divyen,  Jaymin, and Ismail designed traffic junction in Surat at Althan with following features: (i) speed breakers with rollers embedded underneath to generate energy when vehicles pass over them (an idea which has been received by NIF earlier), (ii) having ‘sensors to  detect vehicular traffic for safe pedestrian flow over the zebra crossing’, (iii) drain of junction to take water to a garden and iv) planting trees that can absorb sound and reduce noise pollution etc.
  4. Chetna, Priti and Sadhana, students of Sarvoday polytechnic institute, Limbdi have developed a system by which at every bus stop, a sensor will detect the bus identity or number from hundred meters away and display it on dot-matrix display for the convenience of passengers. 

What do all these innovations scouted through SRISTI’s Techpedia.in-GTU cooperation show? That a state which is industrially so advanced still has a long way to go to make the life of the common people even better and at low cost. If things are not improving fast enough, it is not because we don’t have enough creative youth, or the GTU is not encouraging the students enough, but just because policy makers lack the hunger for leveraging innovations for inclusive, green and sustainable development. (Honey Bee 22(1) & 22(2) 16-17, 2011).                            
Teenager Invents Water Purifier that Creates Electricity with no External Power Source
Cynthia Lam, Balwyn High School, Melbourne Australia 
In April 2013, out of curiosity and her love for chemistry, Cynthia started her first research on Titania’sPhotocatalysis. She investigated the optimum conditions for photocatalytic hydrogen generation and won the Major Bursary in Victoria’s Science Talent Search. It was a very rewarding and exciting experience for her to complete a research project, and she was motivatedto challenge herself to create a helpful device that puts what she investigated into practice.  This is a report based on her project statement submitted to Google Science Fair.
“Is it possible to create a portable device that purifies wastewater while generating electricity sustainably and affordably?” This was the question Cynthia asked not only because of thelack of clean water and electricity in third-world countries, but also because of the energy crisis and water pollutionproblems faced in many parts of the world. The objective was to find an eco-friendly and economicalapproach to solve both issues.
In photocatalysis, not only is water purified and sterilized, but hydrogen is also produced through water-splitting, which can be used to generate electricity. The entire sustainable process only needs titania and light – no additional power source is required. However, hydrogen production is generally low since photo-excited electrons tend to fall back to the hole (i.e.photo induced electron-hole combination). Fortunately, it can be overcome by adding reductants, while some organic pollutants serve such purpose. So the two mechanisms were combined together to enhance the yield and lower the cost of hydrogen generation, meanwhile efficient water purification was also achieved.
It is hypothesized that photocatalysis can be applied in a manageable scale that allows water purification and electricity production to be economically and sustainably performed in a portable device as well as at a household level.

There is an existing design for mobile hydrogen energy and water supply, although feasible, that design needs an external solar power source to purify water and produce hydrogen through an electrolyzer, which makes it costlier and less efficient. This inspired Cynthia to create a self-sustainable portable device that can purify waste water and produce electricity through only photocatalysis (without any additional electricity source).
https://www.googlesciencefair.com/projects/en/2014 77b0af7d78199d72bb8b7b077459fcc0c443cabde6ec 353188e8c08dd551cb83
(accessed 15.1.14). (Honey Bee 25(3) 18-21, 2014).

Natural Elements reported to be used for Water Purification:

  • Amun SyzygiumCumini, commonly known as jambolan, Java plum, black plum or jamun,
  • Pomegranate tender branches used for water purifier. 
  • Desi babool, banyan tree tender branches used for water purifier.
  • Baheda ,Terminaliabellirica, known as bahera or beleric or bastard myrobalan, is a large deciduous tree common on plains and lower hills in Southeast Asia,  
  • Trifala powder is used for water purifier. 
  • Tulsi used for water purifier (Ocimumtenuiflorum, commonly known as holy basil, tulasi or tulsi, is an aromatic perennial plant in the family Lamiaceae.)
  •  Mango tree leaves used for water purifier
  • Turtle helps in cleaning water in wells.   
  • Alum is used as water purifier. 
  • Limestone is used as water purifier.
  • Chlorine is a widely used water disinfectant which kills most viruses and bacteria in water.