Lakes can be clean, show students

Students of VVCE engineering college develop filtration technique for tanks

Innovation: Students of Vidya Vardhaka College of Engineering displaying the filitration technique that won the National award, in Mysore. Faculty members are also seen. Dh Photo

Students of Vidyavardhaka College of Engineering (VVCE) — Dwithiya Chandrashekar, Sajani B, Chaitra K R and Sandeep S — under the guidance of H S Dayananda, Head, Department of Environmental Science,  and lecturer Madhukar M have bagged the ‘Mahindra Reva Greenest Project Award’ at the JED-I competitions in Bangalore recently.The competition was conducted by the Karnataka State Council for Science and Technology in Bangalore, the students presented their project titled ‘Performance evaluation of chitosan and zeolite as filter media’.

The students mentioned that they had procured water samples from Kukkarahalli Lake and analysed it for various bacteriological characteristics such as turbidity, pH, total hardness, permanent hardness, nitrates, fluorides and total coliform. The group observed that the water was turbid and contained a high concentration of total solids. The consequences of turbidity are that it provides warmer water, reduced oxygen, concentration and causes a decrease in photosynthetic activity of plants.  While 74 colleges participated in the competition, the students with their model showed that a combination of chitosan and zeolite can be used to reduce turbidity.

Chitosan, which is a biodegradable substance, is known to possess antibacterial properties. According to the students, Zeolites, which are derived from volcanic or sedimentary rocks are known to inhibit cancer and growth of tumour cells, prevents diarrhoea, improves bone formation, stops severe bleeding of wounds and aids in the treatment of Diabetes Mellitus.

A report prepared by the group points that Chitosan was effective in the reduction of turbidity (92.98 per cent) and nitrates (84.91 per cent), while Zeolite was effective in the reduction of turbidity (81.95 per cent), total hardness (89.28 per cent) and Permanent Hardness (89.02 per cent).

Chitosan and zeolite as dual filter media proved to be effective in the removal of turbidity (93.22 per cent), total hardness (87.63 per cent), permanent hardness (92.77 per cent), and nitrates (93.42 per cent).

The report also indicated that a combination of chitosan and zeolite was also found to be effective in removal of total coliform bacteria present in the sample (99.60 per cent).

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