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article imageSegway creator unveils his next invention: a magic water purifier

By Chris V. Thangham     Mar 26, 2008 in Environment
Segway inventor Dean Kamen announced his new invention, a miracle water purifier. The device provides energy as well as purifying dirty water without filters. Kamen said this device can help wipe out 80 per cent of human disease by providing clean water.
Dean Kamen showed his new invention, a Water Vapor Compress Distiller, on a recent episode of The Colbert Report. Kamen demonstrated the vapor compression distiller in the video, and Colbert even adds Doritos to the dirty water to see how it works.
Not only does it purify water but it also provides energy. He wants to offer this technology for Third World countries where an estimated 1.1 billion people don’t have access to clean drinking water. Also, 1.6 billion people don’t have adequate electricity.
He told CNN:
The water purifier makes 1,000 liters of clean water a day, and we don't care what goes into it. And the power generator makes a kilowatt off of anything that burns.He tested two machines in Bangladesh with the help of Iqbal Quadir, the founder of Grameen Phone, largest cell phone company in Bangladesh. Quadir is very impressed with the machines and soon plans to start manufacturing the machines with licensing from Kamen’s company.
The generator of this machine can be powered by readily available local fuel, cow dung and can produce a kilowatt of electricity. It doesn’t look like much but it is doing double duty by generating electricity as well as filtering water. Even if it powers light bulbs, it will help productivity in developing nations.
Kamen will connect the water distiller called Slingshot to this generator and use some of the energy that is wasted by it to purify the water. The Slingshot takes in contaminated water (or raw sewage) and separates the clean water by vaporization.
Currently, the machines costs about $100,000 but with mass production and better design they plan to cut it down to $1,000 to $2,000 per machine.
Some of the main features of this Slingshot are:
1.) It is designed to supply a village with 1,000 liters/day of clean water
2.) You can use any water source, ocean, puddle, chemical waste site, hexavalent chrome, arsenic, poison, 50 gallon drum of urine
3.) The are no filters to replace, no charcoal, no anything disposable (just distillation)
4.) The Slingshot can use half the waste heat (450 watts) from a sterling engine electrical generator (prototype also being designed by Kamen's company) to boil its water
5.) Slingshot will be less then 60 lbs.
6.) The sterling engine, used as an electrical generator, can produce about 200 watts of power (it will never be more than 20 per cent efficient) and 800 watts of waste heat. This waste heat is then used to purify the water.
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