Next-Gen

Carbon Nanotube Air Pollution Filter

by 5887773c341f6
Last updated 3 months ago

Discipline:
NASA Contest
Subject:
NASA Contest
Grade:
8

Test Glog

NASA spinoff technology is technology we use in our everyday lives that was an innovation originally designed to serve as a tool to aid in work and development at NASA. You most likely have many NASA spinoffs in your home. For example, the initial intent of portable cordless devices was to create a drill that could be used to extract lunar rock and soil. However, we now use this technology as vacuums and powertools that are easier to transport and move around.

Be a Researcher

The spinoff technology I will modify to create my own spinoff technology is acoustic carbon nanotube filtration. This spinoff works when water enters the filter chamber. Acoustic vibration is created and used to drive the water through the filter utilising molecular debonding. The actual filter is made of activated carbon. Activated carbon is different from normal carbon because it has many small pores. These pores allow the carbon to have a very large surface area. Because of the large surface area, the filter is able to last longer without being replaced. Activated carbon has such great surface area that just one gram of activated carbon has a surface area of more that 32,000 square feet. When the water makes contact with the carbon nanotubes, the carbon nanotubes adsorb the contaminants and only allow water molecules to pass through.

The strengths of my design are that it is innexpensive and easily manufacturable. It is also very easy to use, due to its simple design.The weaknesses of my design are that there are different dimensions of exhaust pipes and it may be hard to make it applicable to many types.A modification I would make to my design would be to use a circular shaped clamp to better secure it onto the exhaust pipe.

Nowadays, all cars are required to have a catalytic converter. Therefore, the two main things coming out of car exhausts are carbon dioxide and water vapor. Because carbon dioxide is not easily accesible to me, and I dont have a way to measure the amount of it, I decided to test water vapor. To produce water vapor, I used a humidifier. I first placed the prototype on without the filter attached to show a comparison of how much water vapor was released without filtration. Next, I attached the filter module and put the prototype over the humidifier. There is a noticeable difference between the amount of water vapor when it is filtered as compared to when it is not. Therefore, the filter is effective at removing water vapor.

Design Review

The materials I used were gathered from home, ordered off of Amazon, and purchased from Home Depot. The first material was the carbon filter ordered off of Amazon. From Home Depot, I purchased a 3ft. sewer drain adapter, 3ft. drain pipe drop-in grate, and a 1.5in.x2ft. clear vinyl tube. Finally, I used white colored duct tape that I had at my house.To build the prototype, I first marked and cut the filter to size. Then, I inserted the filter securely into the 3 inch drain grate. This would act as the replacable filter module. Next, I added a tab of tape to the filter module to allow easy removal from the 3" drain adapter. After that, I used the duct tape to attach the adapter to the clear tubing. The clear tubing will simulate the car's exhaust pipe. Finally, the filter module was inserted into the drain adapter.

Constraints:Access to technology to use in prototypeGeographically appropriate problemStay on tailpipeFilters harmful compounds from exhaust--------------------------------------Criteria:Originality/CreativityPracticality of SolutionPopulation impacted by problemEasily setup and maintained by people with minimal educationCost effectiveAesthetically pleasing--------------------------------------For the descision matrix, I made a grid and assessed my 3 different ideas based on the 6 criteria. The idea with the best final score was the idea I chose as my spinoff.-------------------------------------The criteria that eliminated the airocide design was cost. The current airocide technology costs hundreds of dollars. This is a lot more compared to the price of carbon nanotubes. The criteria that eliminated the Aquaspace H2OME Guardian Water Filter is practicality of solution. The Aquaspace H2OME Guardian Water Filter is primarily used to filter out lead from water, and therefore would not filter out the compounds that well.--------------------------------------The criteria that was the most difficult to meet was that it needed to be easily setup and maintained by people with minimal education. This was the most difficult criteria to meet because the nanotube filter could easily be installed incorrectly by someone that may be careless or not knowledgeable about proper installation. They might break the filter and/or reduce the amount of filtering able to be done. To fix this, I decided to make a pre-built filter module that is easily installed. This module easily and effortlessly clips on and off of the adapter connected to the tailpipe. This does have tradeoffs, such as an increase in cost. However, it would be more expensive to have to keep buying filters because you install them incorrectly than having a pre-built module that is inserted correctly.--------------------------------------The design i chose was best at meeting all of the criteria. Firstly, the design is simple and very practical. The filter is readily available and can be easily manufactured at a low cost. The filter does its job by eliminating many harmful compounds that add to air pollution and global warming. Also, because of its simplicity, its design is not big and bulky, and therefore, aestheticaly pleasing. It solves the problem of automobile pollution efficiently and effectively.

The problem my spinoff idea solves is pollution. In my home city of Las Vegas, NV pollution is a burgeoning issue. In fact, the American Lung Association ranked Las Vegas the 10th worst city in terms of air quality. Because Las Vegas is a major urban area that is continually progressing industrially, harmful pollutants are constantly entering the air. These pollutants are creating holes in the Earth’s ozone layer. This allows the sun’s powerful ultraviolet rays to enter the Earth's surface. This is leading to global warming and things such as deterioration of the polar ice caps. Not only are these pollutants harming the ozone layer, they are harming our bodies directly. Many people have respiratory conditions because of this issue. Pollution can cause asthma attacks and decrease breathing ability. Also, as previously mentioned, ultraviolet rays are entering through the holes in the ozone layer. This can lead to a higher chance of skin cancer. Transportation is the leading cause of air pollution and global warming in the US. In a large city, the use of automobiles is almost necessary to get around. However, many harmful pollutants are being blown out of cars' exhaust pipes. My spinoff’s purpose is to efficiently and effectively filter out the harmful compounds such as NOx, Co, SO2, and CO2. These compouds from car exhaust make up what we know as smog.

Create your Own Spinoff

Existing solutions for pollution created by automobiles do currently exist. For example, one solution that is currently in use is the catalytic converter. This takes some of the compounds from the car's exhaust and converts it into water vapor, nitrogen. and carbon dioxide. Although this does remove some harmful compounds, some still remain. Also, the converted compounds still have detrimental effects on the ozone layer and add to global warming. Water vapor and carbon dioxide can absorb more thermal IR energy emitted from the Earth, in turn further warming the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide is also a component in smog. Thus, the catalytic converter does not totally reduce global warming.

Brainstomed Solutions: - Acoustic Carbon Nanotubes - Airocide - Aquaspace H2OME Guardian Water Filter


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