Five new technologies – including a low-cost water filter using wood, and a handheld device to test milk quality – are among those under development by the Abdul Latif Jameel World Water and Food Security Lab (J-WAFS) Solutions Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
J-WAFS Solutions – tests of the Intelligent Selective Electrodialysis (ISED) system being conducted in the Lienhard lab.
Since its inception in 2014, J-WAFS has worked to develop and deploy technologies, policies, and programs that tackle challenges in the world’s water and food systems. This year, its projects include:
- Developing a low-cost water filter using wood, to provide low-income households with safe and affordable access to clean water (main image)
- Using electrically-charged polymers to reduce the amount of pesticides sprayed on crops – potentially by more than 50%.
- Using smartphone technology to detect harmful bacteria in food, so food testing can be faster, cheaper and conducted on-site – preventing widespread foodborne illnesses.
- Developing a handheld device to test milk quality, ensuring the safety of milk production in increasingly complex dairy supply chains.
- Increasing the efficiency of irrigation waters to meet crop nutrient requirements by selectively removing ions that are harmful to crops while retaining those that are beneficial.
J-WAFS Solutions – a dairy farmer and collection operator at a milk collection center at Village Navli, Maharashtra, India.
Fady Mohammed Jameel, President of Community Jameel International, said: “The research we are supporting at MIT has the potential to make a real difference to some of the most vulnerable people in the world.”
The United Nations estimates almost 10% of the world’s population falls ill each year from eating contaminated food, resulting in 420,000 deaths annually.
John Lienhard, the Abdul Latif Jameel Professor of Water and Food at MIT, said: “With the effects of climate change, urbanization, and rising population, water and food security is of even greater global importance. This program serves as a catalyst for entrepreneurial faculty and students to develop and commercialize technologies that can have a positive impact on the world.”