How to Filter 1 Litre of Water for 9 Cents

If you never worry about your drinking water, you are in the minority!

There aren’t too many people working in this field right now, but I am a strong believer in this technology and what it has to offer. In terms of creating your aerogel idea for individual water filtration, now there’s definitely a market for that. I think this is a really cool idea, especially since you’re able to produce it at such a low cost.

— George Gould, VP of R&D at Aspen Aerogels

Problem: Industrial Wastewater

Layer 1: Industrial Waste Kills

Clean water changes everything. Not only does it improve the health of entire communities, it also gives women freedom to earn an income and children time to go to school, when they don’t have to spend hours walking miles every day just to gather water.

— Joanne Lu,

I want my family to breathe some fresh air and drink some good water. I want to see our future generations have the time to grow up and not have to deal with young kids dying and sicknesses and illnesses.

Vivian Milligan, a resident of Ringwood, New Jersey


Layer 2: Water Projects in Developing Countries do not Address Industrial Wastewater

The unsolved Level 4 — No accessible method to get rid of heavy metals?

Layer 3: Current Industrial Wastewater Filtration Methods are High-Maintenance and Costly


I don’t need to report on what happens after my project ends, and I’m not accountable if or when the pump breaks down. Why would I want to report the breakdown of a pump to our donors? It could jeopardise future funding. It would also pose a question for which there is no clear answer: who is responsible for fixing the broken pump?

By designing and managing projects the way I do, I am doing my job.

Ajay Paul, thematic coordinator for the sustainable services initiative at Welthungerhilfe

  • Is the system easy to use and maintain?
  • Can the technology be used anywhere in the world?
  • Are the spare parts affordable and available locally?
Capturing drinkable water from atmospheric humidity is one such 21st century novel tech
  1. Provide safe drinking water by effectively filter out industrial wastes — this tackles the issue of the unsolved Level 4. (Pathogens can be removed via boiling)
  2. Be cheap
  3. Be easy to maintain

Aerogel — A Piece of the Sky in Your Hands

  1. What is aerogel?
  2. How do cellulose and alginate aerogels work?
  3. How is AeroPure manufactured?
  4. How do I use AeroPure?
  5. Cost breakdown

What is Aerogel, and Why Does it Look Like a Piece of the Sky?

Tanget — Supercritical Fluid — the Intersection of Liquid and Gas?

The progression of liquid CO2 heated under high pressure until it reaches the supercritical temperature
Note: Carbon dioxide is typically used because it has a low supercritical temperature and pressure at 31.0 °C and 1,070 psi. (Compared to water’s 373.946 °C and 3,200.1 psi.)

Cellulose and Alginate Aerogels — The Chemistry

The functionality of cellulose aerogel. Note: this is not what our product looks like, this is for visualisation purposes only 😉

The Other Culprit — Heavy Metals

Level 4 is what our solution is targeting.

How to Turn Trash Into Treasure — le Mânufacturiñg Prôçess

  1. Dissolution
  2. Gelation and pore formation
  3. Solvent exchange
  4. Drying


Gelation and Pore Formation

Solvent Exchange



Shaping — Why Towels Aren’t Balls

Just because round wheels are nice, doesn’t mean making everything round is nice.
Our beads will be 7 cm in diameter.

How is shaping done?

How do I use AeroPure?

1: Fill

2: Soak

3: Wash and squeeze

The mighty stress ball o’ science

4: Throwing Out and Biodegrading

Cost Breakdown



Cost per Person

AeroPure — Bringing Power Back to Consumers

Definitely the idea is very fine and there is potential, and you should go your way with it. I will put my thumb on it!

— Björn Schulz, studied cellulose aerogels in a PhD at RWTH Aachen University

If we don’t have water, we cannot live. So when you have companies coming into your neck of the woods, contaminating your water, what are we going to do? What are we going to do? We can’t live like that.

Tracey Edwards of Walnut Cove, North Carolina.

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