Research database

BUBBLES4LIFE - Bubbles for life: hydrodynamic cavitation for water disinfection in developing countries

Duration:
24 months (2017 - 2019)
Principal investigator(s):
Project type:
Corporate-funded and donor-funded research
Funding body:
FONDAZIONE (Compagnia di San Paolo)
Project identification number:
Metti in rete la tua idea di ricerca

Abstract

There are currently about 780 million people in the world who have no access to drinkable water sources. As a result of this, more than 3 million people die every year of sanitation and hygiene related issues and 99% of all deaths occur in developing countries. Such a water emergency is caused by several issues. Among these, the lack of appropriate water-treatment methods plays an important role. Technologies that are commonly and successfully used in the developed world cannot be used so easily in developing countries as they are associated with high costs of installation, maintenance and operation and they require the use of chemicals that are not easy to retrieve. This proposal intends to tackle this issue by further developing a promising technique called Hydrodynamic Cavitation. This technique relies on the principle of forcing water to flow in constricted regions and hence to make it boiling as a consequence of the low pressure levels it experiences. When pressure is restored, water bubbles implode violently generating plasma-type conditions where gas temperature reaches 14000 K and pressure peaks up to 1000 Atm. Such harsh conditions are lethal for any microorganisms and promote the formation of compounds with a strong oxidative power. HC does not require chemicals and has no high costs of maintenance and installation, which makes it a perfect candidate for applications in developing countries. Unfortunately, the current understanding of the physical processes governing water-treatment through HC is very poor. This means that, there are no robust principles (or models) that can be used to design and calibrate cavitation reactors other than empirical trial and error procedures. The general aim of Bubbles4life is to bridge this knowledge gap by means of novel experiments and data analysis techniques, with a view to design reliable and low-cost reactors that can be used in developing countries.

People involved

Departments

Partners

  • FONDAZIONE COMPAGNIA DI SAN PAOLO

Budget

PoliTo total cost: € 150,000.00
PoliTo contribution: € 150,000.00