Online Program

Fresnel Water Purifier: A new method of water decontamination using a Fresnel lens

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Rachel Carter, MD, Family Medicine/Emergency Medicine, Christiana Care Health System, Wilmington, DE
Jaqueline Spong, PhD, MS, Intellectual Property Solutions,, Falls Church, VA
The World Health Organization estimates 750 million people lack clean, drinkable water, 82% of those in rural areas.  Every day 2,000 people die because of it. The Fresnel water purifier is a new design to produce drinkable water and help stop these deaths.  Fresnel lenses are inexpensive, flexible lenses that were used in rear projector televisions.  They can achieve temperatures in excess of 2000F at their focus.  Using a Fresnel lens, sunlight is directed onto a copper coil filled with water. Only when temperatures are high enough to kill disease producing, biologically active agents does a thermostat at the coil’s end open allowing water to flow.

The system is made using a salvaged Fresnel lens, a car thermostat and locally available materials for the frame.  It costs $30-70 depending on design, has an estimated life span of at least five years, and requires very little maintenance or training to operate.  Proof of concept testing in Virginia, USA, demonstrated its ability to reduce the coliform level of contaminated water to zero per 100ml.   Funded by crowd sourcing, follow on testing in the Republic of Panama demonstrated it can produce 15L/day of drinkable water.  In collaboration with the Universidad Autonoma de Chiriqui (UNACHI) in David, Panama, further testing is underway to demonstrate its effectiveness and to experiment with designs that may not only heat the water but also distill it.  Field testing is then planned in areas of poor water quality to assess if its use decreases diarrheal diseases and other illnesses.

Learning Areas:

Environmental health sciences
Protection of the public in relation to communicable diseases including prevention or control
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Explain how to use a Fresnel lens to decontaminate and purify water Describe how a Fresnel water purifier could decrease the global burden of disease due to lack of clean, drinkable water Discuss crowd sourcing as a way to fund projects

Keyword(s): Water & Health, International Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: This is a new design for a water decontamination/purification system that is currently still under investigation and has not yet reached the stage of field testing with communities.

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a medical doctor with several years experience in global health asked to be medical advisor to this project. I have been involved in all stages of testing of this innovation including changes of design related to safety and ensuring it meets global standards for providing safe drinking water.
Any relevant financial relationships? Yes

Name of Organization Clinical/Research Area Type of relationship
Intellectual Property Solutions, Inc Fresnel Water Purifier Principle and Inventor is my step sister, All time is volunteered and no financial relationship exists

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

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