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Student Team’s Solar Aquacleaner Wins Second Place at 2011 Green Tech

A team of students from the Department and Graduate Institute of Chemical Engineering claimed second place at the 2011 Green Tech competition. Their entry, the Solar Aquacleaner, has a light concentrator that collects solar energy and uses the reactions between a reusable photocatalyst and sunlight to break down the pollutants in water and purify water. The team, which also received the competition’s Creativity Award and Popularity Award, highlighted how its invention could meet the needs of fish farmers for clean water if it were made available to them.

The Teco Technology Foundation started the annual Green Tech competition in 2006, with hopes to stimulate young people to devote themselves to energy conservation and carbon reduction. This year’s competition attracted 110 teams from around Taiwan. Teams from Kun Shan University and National Ilan University took first and third place, respectively.

The Solar Aquacleaner team was guided by Prof. Jeffrey Chi-sheng Wu of the Department of Chemical Engineering and captained by graduate student Yi-ting Wu. The team’s solar water purifier is inexpensive to produce, and a device the size of a small or medium cardboard box is sufficient to clean the water in a 15-20 liter fish tank. Hence, it has great potential for commercialization.

Fish farmers in Taiwan pump massive volumes of groundwater to provide fresh water for their fish operations. Unfortunately, this has created severe land subsidence problems that have exacerbated flooding during typhoons and even threatened the safety of the High Speed train. The Solar Aquacleaner would allow fish farms to reuse their water and reduce or eliminate their dependence on groundwater.

Chinese version