TriboPump: A Low-Cost, Hand-Powered Water Disinfection System


Water disinfection at the point of use (POU) has enormous social and economic significance, especially for rural areas or catastrophes. To tackle the requirements of power independence and cost control in such applications, the concept of TriboPump is proposed, which is a low-cost, hand-powered water disinfection system. The system consists of three functional parts: a tubular coaxial-electrode copper ionization cell (CECIC) as the disinfection device, a disk triboelectric nanogenerator (D-TENG) as the power source, and a coaxial mechanical structure including the water pump. The adoption of D-TENG can make the system adaptive to varying system resistances without additional power management circuits. Moreover, the integration of CECIC and TENG can successfully turn their intrinsic limitations into advantages and a synergic effect is achieved. With the integrated design, the system can effectively disinfect the water while pumping it solely by hand power. The cost estimate of the whole system can be as low as $10 for a 2-year service. It is believed that the whole system design provides a feasible one-stop and cost-efficient solution for POU water pumping and disinfection, which will ideally be suitable the rural areas or sudden-onset catastrophes.