Leeds student’s innovation could solve world water shortage

(L to R) Dr Amin Al-Habaibeh and Joseph Wild
(L to R) Dr Amin Al-Habaibeh and Joseph Wild
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A Leeds student’s invention could help solve one of the world’s biggest problems by creating safe drinking water – from old fridges.

Joseph Wild’s innovation for developing countries uses unwanted appliances to form water and store it without risk of contamination.

The product design student at Nottingham Trent University has now seen his working prototype go on show as part of the university’s Art and Design Degree Shows Festival.

Joseph, from Adel, Leeds, said: “Water shortage is one of the world’s greatest challenges and more than 768 million people globally lack access to a safe source of water. Around 2,000 children die each day from diarrhoea caused by unsafe water and poor sanitation.

“Yet this simple invention could help alleviate a lot of those problems while finding a sustainable use for unwanted refrigerators.

“By repurposing old fridges - which otherwise may end up on the scrapheap – we could provide the safe drinking water needed to help save people’s lives.”

The 23-year-old’s machine, which can be run by solar power, can provide enough water to meet the daily needs of a small family.

It works by drawing air into a cool fridge with reused computer fans and passing it through a cold copper tube. As the warm, humid air cools in the tube, the vapour contents condense to form water.

Dr Amin Al-Habaibeh, a reader in advanced design and manufacturing technologies at the university, said: “It’s a fantastic example of how we can help people in the developing world while also being sustainable by supporting reuse and recycling.”

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