What is your signature innovation, your new idea, in one sentence?
A newly developed water turbidity-clarifying method enhances a continuous physical separation process between particles and clean water without chemical coagulation to supply drinking water in remote areas.
Describe your innovation. What makes your idea unique and different than others doing work in the field?
Traditional drinking water treatment processes utilize chemical coagulation, sedimentation, sand filtration and disinfection to purify water in a relative large open area. But in remote or high altitude mountain areas, standardized water treatment plants seem unrealistic. Long distance water pipelines, pumping stations and supply systems become the only choice for remote residents. In Taiwan, Mother Nature’s threats such as earthquakes and typhoons frequently destroy water supply systems in the high mountain areas. The water supply system restoration may take months and even years. Without safe drinking water, residents in remote villages significantly concern about hygiene and health issues. Therefore, a reliable and dependable local water treatment facility will be beneficial and highly welcome to the people in remote areas.
Our innovation is to utilize a new patent-issued method, Particle Accelerating Deposition and Separation Apparatus (PADSA), to physically settle water turbidity particles without adding chemical coagulants. Natural water passes through a vertical geometrical shrinking device to accelerate waterborne particles in a laminar flow region. The particles settle vertically in the sedimentation zone by gravity and the downward inertia while clean water molecules diffuse horizontally and upwardly. By using PADSA, we can derive 70% of the inflow natural water as clean water, and the rest 30% as particle-concentrated effluent. The clean water will be further treated by a sand filtration bed and disinfection to serve as drinking water for residential households. Under the circumstance of no chemical coagulant used in PADSA, the natural particle-concentrated effluent can be directly used in public services, such as agricultural or garden irrigation.
Delivery Model: How do you implement your innovation and apply it to the challenge/problem you are addressing?
The characteristics of PADSA include: (1) continuous particle and clean water separation; (2) no chemical coagulant needed; (3) utilization of water potential energy in an indoor environment; (4) remote control throughout the whole water treatment processes; (5) area requirement of 10m x 10m for 280 CMD drinking water. Such unique characteristics make PADSA feasible in constantly producing potable and palatable water in remote areas.
The PADSA needs only a small indoor area to accommodate the required facilities in producing qualified water. The remote control system through internet enhances PADSA return to regular function after natural environmental events in short period of time. Because the PADSA locates right around the water supply household area, routine maintenance and access makes the water supply system easy to use and operate.
How do you plan to expand your innovation?
It is possible to expand PADSA into a large scale and serve as a pretreatment process to remove excess particles in natural water. Such approach not only minimizes chemical coagulant usage but also increases the filtration efficiency. Under severe turbid water scenario caused by heavy rainfalls and soil erosion, PADSA can significantly decrease the turbid particle concentrations by 90% and prevent clogging problems in the filtration process.
Do you have any existing partnerships, and if so, how do you create them?
Yu-Li Technology Co. has been supported the development, design and research of PADSA. Most of basic research, analysis and prototypes of PADSA were performed at Fu-Jen Catholic University. Both organizations are the present partnerships. Because PADSA patent has just been issued by Taiwan Intellectual Property Office in February 2008 and the associated apparatus patent applications in Taiwan, China and USA are still under pending, we will focus on the field applications of PADSA, including control parameters and suitability under various waterborne particle concentrations, size distributions and water quality. In Taiwan, water resource usage and drinking water supply systems are under governmental management, we will also submit the PADSA cooperation application to the Taiwan government as our potential partnership.