Ricoh USA, Inc. today announced that Alexis D’Alessandro of Half Hollow Hills High School West in New York and Megha Vyakaranam of Independence High School in Texas have been selected as this year’s recipients of the Ricoh Sustainable Development Award (RSDA) for innovations in water purification and greenhouse gas adsorption and storage at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF) 2016.
By demonstrating sustainable solutions that will help create a more environmentally resilient future, honorees D’Alessandro and Vyakaranam were awarded a combined amount of $25,000 in scholarships from Ricoh.
D’Alessandro developed a solar powered, sustainable permeate gap membrane distillation (PGMD) system for water purification in the Turkana Basin of Kenya. D’Alessandro’s PGMD system provides an alternative to RO as an effective and more affordable method of water purification. The PGMD system is currently being implemented in the Turkana Basin of Kenya and is producing water at a rate of 200L/hour and a cost of 0.35 cents/Liter, representing an approximate 80-fold decrease in cost as compared to RO.
Vyakaranam’s project, described as a super soaker for greenhouse gas, follows the design and synthesis of a novel metal organic framework (MOF) for adsorption and storage of gases like carbon dioxide. Vyakaranam’s MOF demonstrated a high volumetric uptake of carbon dioxide of 930 cm/3g (20wt%), which is significantly higher than the next best MOF, MOF-177 (10wt%), of 481 cm3/g.
For past recipients’ stories and to learn more, visit here.