Faculty Advisor or Committee Member

Andrew R. Teixeira, Advisor

Faculty Advisor or Committee Member

Elizabeth J. Stewart, Committee Member

Faculty Advisor or Committee Member

Anthony G. Dixon, Committee Member

Faculty Advisor or Committee Member

Harold W. Walker, Committee Member




Clean water is hard to obtain in certain areas, such as remote locations and during emergency response. Our study developed a membraneless water purification system using diffusiophoresis and tested the influence of various factors (gas pressure, liquid flow rate, etc.) on the turbidity of filtered water. The main component in the separation system is a tube-in-tube-in-tube separator. The inner tube and the middle tube are made of a semipermeable material (Teflon AF-2400), which allows gas (CO2) to permeate through it, but retains liquid (water). In this strategy, the CO2 permeates through the inner tube (the end is sealed) then dissolves into the dirty water/particle suspension passing through the middle tube. It then diffuses radially to the outer tube, where a vacuum collects the CO2, forming a concentration gradient of ions through the water, which induces the migration of charged particles to concentrate at the inner wall of the middle tube. The vacuum phase in the outer tube can increase the concentration gradient of ions in the water and recycle the CO2. Finally, purified water can be collected from the center of the middle tube by a needle in the effluent. The purification system is able to take initial turbid water (243 NTU) to below the WHO drinking water standard (


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Degree Name



Chemical Engineering

Project Type


Date Accepted





UV Spectrometer, Teflon AF-2400, COMSOL Simulation, Particle separation, CO2 Dissociation, Water Quality