“We keep moving forward, opening new doors and doing new things, because we are curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths” – Walt Disney
Lalita Prasida hailing from Odisha developed a low-cost water purifier at the age of 13. Her curiosity and science helped her to develop a low-cost bio-absorbent based water purifier, which functions mainly on waste corn cobs. Her Innovation won her ‘Community Impact Award’ at the prestigious Google science fair 2015 along with prize money of 10,000 USD and support from the Google for a year to build upon her project. The water purifier developed by Lalita Prasida if produced in large scale can be of great help to those who still do not have any access to pure water.
Making of Low-cost Water Purifier
Lalita was studying in class 9 in DPS (Delhi Public School) Damanjodi of Odisha. She was one of the bright students in her school. She was very curious to invent anything that can help people with the help of Science. At the same time, she got the idea to develop a low-cost water purifier. She used the least utilized part of the maize plant that is the corn cob. Corn cob is an agricultural waste which has high absorbent power due to its high mechanical strength, rigidly and porosity. It was a cheap and eco-friendly method and can reopen new market for the corn cobs as well.
Lalita collected the cobs from one of the nearby farms and dried them for a month. She then removed the pith of one cob to make a hole at the Centre to pour 50ml of domestic effluent collected from a kitchen drain pipe. After this stage of purification, the water was passed through five bottles, each containing a different layer for purification of chemical impurities. Each layer includes substances like long pieces of corn cobs, small pieces of corn cobs, powdered corncobs, activated charcoal made from corn cobs and fine sand to make the water pure.
During testing, it was found that most of the colored substances present in the water were adsorbed in the charcoal layer. The long and small pieces of corn cabs absorbed the suspended and harmful particulates. The powered corn cob layer also absorbed the gasoline waste. In a report published about her project on Google Science fair website, it was stated that contaminants like oxides of salts, detergents, suspended particles, colored dyes, oil and grease get adsorbed in the surface of the corn cobs. If the drain pipe of the household is connected to a chamber having different layers of corn cobs in partition layers or to an S-trap pipe having corn cobs, it will separate about more than 70-80 % of contaminants including suspended particles from the waste water.
Lalita Prasida invention is a proof that girls are doing more innovative works which are making our society better day by day. The ‘Community Impact Award’ at the prestigious Google Science Fair in California won by Lalita shows that these type of Inventions are impacting our community in a better way. It is the starting of a new world for a better society of which people like Lalita among the other winners at the Google Science award are leading the path. This story of ours is a small tribute to all who are impacting the community in any better way just like Lalita.
“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples” – Mother Teresa
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