When John Paul Santos noticed the wastewater in the Pasig River which is near to his school the Polytechnic University of the Philippines, he had a thought of using such water to generate electricity. It was a wild idea then. But being in his second year as an electronics engineering student, he knew he had to do something about it. Eventually he did.
Together with fellow electronics engineering student Christian Sta. Romana, he developed a device called Electrifilter, or electricity generation from filthy water, which does exactly what is called. It can produce electricity from filthy water which first samples were from the Pasig River.
The technology relies on the wires at the top layer of the filter, which reacts once bacteria from dirty water passes through hence releasing energy. This is where the bioelectrochemical process takes place.
Electrifilter can produce enough electricity to power LED lights, lamp posts, energy stations, and security system. The PUP tag team intends this product for use in calamity-stricken and remote areas in the Philippines where there is an unfortunate ample amount of wastewater.
Not only that it can generate electricity, Electrifilter can also cleanse water. Sta. Romana admits that the output water is not potable but it can be for general usage like flushing the toilet and washing dishes.
With which Santos adds, “The main concept we have is to generate electricity from wastewater. Clean water is just value added.”
A global specialist in energy management and automation Schneider Electric helped the two in developing the device. It provided funds for the development of the prototype, which cost P10,000.
Because of the ingenuity of Electrifilter, it garnered a third-place award in the annual ‘Go Green in the City’ held in Paris in 2015 among 12 regional champions.
Santos and Sta. Romana represented East Asia in the international competition organized and hosted by Schneider Electric. The annual event is part of the company’s advocacy in encouraging the youth to dream up ideas and innovations that can help build the smart cities of the future.
The Electrifilter they have made is still in its beta phase. It is still being improved to obtain the target of producing 1 watt from 1.5 liters of wastewater, while it is seeking help to secure a patent.
“But electricity generation does not only depend on water. There are a number of principles involved. Right now, I cannot disclose all the principles, because the research is ongoing,” Santos said.
Source: Manila Standard