Two students from Singapore, Caleb Liow Jia Le and Johnny Xiao Hong Yu, won the 2018 Stockholm Junior Water Prize for producing reduced graphene oxide (rGO), a material that can be used to purify water, from agricultural waste products.
In their project, Caleb Liow Jia Le and Johnny Xiao Hong Yu developed a new method to produce reduced graphene oxide (rGO), a material that has huge potential to purify water. Using durian rind and sugarcane bagasse the students found a more environmentally friendly and cheaper method for producing rGO.
In its citation, the Jury highlighted the wide local benefits of the students’ method: “This year’s winning project inspires communities to find local solutions to improve water quality and resource recovery. The project developed a leading edge, inexpensive, and widely applicable method to clean water. Further development of this method will lead to public health and ecosystems protection. Therefore, the project embodies the themes of 2018 World Water Week – Water, Ecosystems and Human Development. The winning project has included concepts of circular economy, nanotechnology, and green chemistry. The project’s success will set new trends in the way we filter water.”
When asked how they would like to take this project further, Johnny Xiao Hong Yu said: “We will definitely try to think of ways to improve it and make it even more sustainable, even more environmentally friendly, so that it can be used to make an impact in the future.”
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Torgny Holmgren, Executive Director of SIWI, was very impressed by the students’ innovative project.
“Provision of clean water is one of humanity’s greatest challenges. This year’s outstanding winners have found a way to purify water that is low-cost, builds on locally available resources and can help getting clean water to the 2.1 billion people who still lack it,” said Holmgren.
As part of the Stockholm Junior Water Prize final, a Diploma of Excellence was awarded to Tatsuyoshi Odai and Narumi Sakamoto, two students from Japan. In their project they developed a system that produces food while purifying eutrophicated ponds with a combination of plants, nitrifying bacteria and fungi.
“By adapting existing science and with help from micro-organisms they have converted a water pollution problem into an innovative food production solution,” said the Jury.
The Stockholm Junior Water Prize
The Stockholm Junior Water Prize was presented by its patron, Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden, at an award ceremony during World Water Week in Stockholm on August 28, 2018. The competition is open for young people between the ages of 15 and 20 who have conducted water-related projects of proven environmental, scientific, social or technological significance. This prize received more than 10,000 entries from all over the world.
For more information, visit: www.worldwaterweek.org