Two students from Singapore, Caleb Liow Jia Le and Johnny Xiao Hong Yu, won the 2018 Stockholm Junior Water Prize for producingreduced graphene oxide, a material that can be used to purify water, fromagricultural waste products. H.R.H. Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden presented the prize at an award ceremony during World Water Week in Stockholm.
In their project, Caleb Liow Jia Le and Johnny Xiao Hong Yu developed a new method to produce reduced graphene oxide (rGO), a material that has huge potential to purify water. Using durian rind and sugarcane bagasse the students found a more environmentally friendly and cheaper method for producing rGO.
When asked how they would like to take this project further, Johnny Xiao Hong Yu said: "We will definitely try to think of ways to improve it and make it even more sustainable, even more environmentally friendly, so that it can be used to make an impact in the future."
The Stockholm Junior Water Prize goes to the winners of an international annual competition with more than 10,000 entries from young people between the ages of 15 and 20 who have conducted water-related projects. H.R.H. Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden is the Patron of the prize.
In its citation, the Jury highlighted the wide local benefits of the students' method: "This year's winning project inspires communities to find local solutions to improve water quality and resource recovery. The project developed a leading edge, inexpensive, and widely applicable method to clean water. Further development of this method will lead to public health and ecosystems protection."
Torgny Holmgren, Executive Director of SIWI, was very impressed by the students' innovative project.
"Provision of clean water is one of humanity's greatest challenges. This year's outstanding winners have found a way to purify water that is low-cost, builds on locally available resources and can help getting clean water to the 2.1 billion people who still lack it," Mr Holmgren said.
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