SAFR: Scalable and Affordable Fluoride Removal (UC Berkeley)

Team Members: Katya Cherukumilli, Yash Mehta

School: UC Berkeley

SAFR Website

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Globally, 200 million people are at risk of irreversible, crippling deformities by drinking groundwater contaminated with fluoride levels exceeding the WHO limit (1.5mg F-/L). Although many defluoridation technologies have proven to be effective in labs, most have not scaled sustainably in remote rural regions of the developing world. We propose to implement and scale up our bauxite-based Scalable and Affordable Fluoride Removal (SAFR) process in India, through our recently created nonprofit social enterprise (Global Water Labs). Rigorous lab testing has shown that our SAFR process has the potential to be (a) locally available/affordable, (b) highly effective at remediating a wide range of fluoride concentrations, (c) culturally appropriate, (d) technically feasible and robust in a rural setting, and (e) operated and maintained with minimal labor. We need additional funding to further test our SAFR process in the field setting, which will allow us to iterate our technology and business model prototypes.