Teen brings us one step closer to clean drinking water

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Scientists have been trying to turn salt water into fresh, potable water for decades. So far, the best they’ve come up with is “desalinization,” which costs billions and is damaging to the planet. 

But Portland high school student Chaitanya Karamchedu, or Chai for short, may have just figured it out.

Chai realized only 10 percent of salt water is bonded to salt and 90 percent is free. So he just decided to focus on that 90 percent. Using a highly absorbent polymer, he was able to separate the salt from the water. 

The simple solution took second place at MIT’s TechCon. He even won $10,000 from Intel’s International Science Fair. But more importantly, his out of the box thinking may save millions of lives. 

Chai says "Some problems seem like impossible problems, but to call them impossible problems is a self-fulfilling prophecy. The more you think about it as impossible, the more impossible it becomes sometimes.” 

 

So take Chai’s words with you today and imagine the impossible possible.


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