School: Socorro High
Area of Science: Engineering and Botany
In the present day, resources are constantly being scuffled over, however, one extremely important building block is life is commonly overlooked. Water. Specifically, freshwater. While water surrounds us, this liquid of life is being used at a faster rate than it can be produced. Places with low physical water access are seeing an increase in droughts and water shortages. More than 1,145,00 New Mexicans are in a drought zone, which is 56% of the population (Drought.gov). In California, over 23 million residents are in a drought zone (Drought.gov). With readily available access to the sea, desalination can surely supplement the recovery of drought in coastal states such as California. The goal of this project is to use the mangrove's efficient desalination process and make a model of a machine that implements this process and predicts the effectiveness and amount of water it can provide to people.
The mangrove filters as much as ninety percent of salt out of water when it hits their roots (AMNH.org). This process is done by the roots. The first root layer blocks free floating Na+ ions whilst the second layer blocks Na+ ions completely (doi.org/10.1038/srep20426)
Current technologies, such as filtration systems based on these mangrove roots are being developed by scientists currently. We want to model these systems to find certain details and scenarios in which these systems could be applied in the best possible way. Using graphs and a dynamic model with several variables you can change, we can determine in what way these filtration systems are effective and possible.
We currently have a program that calculates the price to use these machines, which has default values that can be easily changed based on the plant. In addition, it calculates the water output based on input and the time it would take to desalinate the water. All of the calculations are done in a gcc file, saved to a text file, and displayed in a python program that graphs data points that the gcc program saved into the text file. The graphs also plot the average distillation statistics, and from there we can analyze these graphs to determine in what scenarios they would be useful, and practical.
Based on our data, we predict that these machines will be more effective for municipal communities as they cost more to create. But using mangrove filters require less power to run, therefore reducing greenhouse gases and yearly cost. We expect the overall cost to be less than a run of the mill distillation plant. The estimated output of 30 filters with the water's salinity of 35.5 PSU is approximately 1 liter per 7 minutes.
Via Google Drive: Click Here
Sponsoring Teacher: Jay Garcia