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Using the Mexican Cactus to Remove Contaminants from Drinking Water


The primary goal of this research project is to investigate an economically viable “green technology” for water purification based on cactus mucilage. The concept is to adapt this material into portable devices for rural and underdeveloped communities in Mexico, which have been exposed to polluted drinking water, and where access to conventional filtration technology is limited. An ideal agent for water treatment should be a natural substance of low cost and ease of use, which can be locally obtained and processed through sustainable agriculture. This project has five important components that combine the expertise of an interdisciplinary team of researchers with backgrounds in engineering, sciences, and social sciences: scientific and technical merit, environmental and hydro-geochemical impacts, socio-cultural impact assessment, economic analysis, and integrated education.

"This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0442977."


Cactus mucilage (gum-like substance) is extracted from this plant.


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