ENERGY GLOBE
Ecuador

WINNER:
YAKUPURA

With the Project:
YAKUPURA Activated Charcoal Water Filter

Yakupura is an activated charcoal water filter that is fixed directly to the tap. It provides safe drinking water without the struggles of installing an expensive and complicated filtration system. Despite its simplicity and small size, this water filter is powerful enough to remove heavy metals, pesticides and organic matter. Its filtration power comes from activated charcoal that is produced from organic coconut shells. This raw material would otherwise become trash, the transformation from shells to activated charcoal provides an upcycle process to organic matter. Activated charcoal has an adsorption property that encapsulates harmful substances the same way a sponge adsorbs water.

INITIAL SITUATION

In Ecuador there are four ways to obtain safe drinking water. The first is to drink water directly from the tap. Unfortunately, despite being potable water, the quality, age and low maintenance of pipes can affect the quality of the water before it reaches people’s homes. The second option is to boil the water. While this method can eliminate pathogens, the water in Ecuador is heavily chlorinated, therefore the occurrence of bacteria is highly unlikely. However, substances such as heavy metals or pesticides that are commonly found in potable water are not eradicated by boiling water. The third method is to buy bottled water. This is perhaps the most common method and the consumption of bottled water has increased in the last decade in Ecuador. While in most countries plastic bottles are commonly recycled, in Ecuador less than 10% of recyclable materials are recycled. The last method is to use filtration systems. This option is the most efficient in terms of providing safe drinking water without an environmental impact. In Ecuador less than 1% of the population use filtration systems because of their high costs and complex appearance.

SOLUTION

Most developed nations are able to drink water directly from the tap with no fear or concern on their mind. Countries like Ecuador that enjoy a water surplus in terms of rivers and watersheds, are unable to provide safe drinking water from the tap. Yakupura offers an activated charcoal water filter that attaches directly to the tap and provides safe drinking water. The filter replaces water bottles and other types of filters. It operates on a circular economy basis, on which every disposed filter is reintroduced into the production process. After use, all filters are collected to ensure zero waste. The filter ‘shell’ is reused, and the activated charcoal can be reused after a thorough washing process. People can save up to 90% compared to buying bottled water and up to 99,8% or more compared to other filtration systems available on the market. 8,000 families have been provided with safe drinking water and the use of 500,000 plastic bottles has been prevented.

INNOVATION

Even though activated charcoal has been widely used in the water treatment industry, mineral activated charcoal is the most commonly used filtering entity. Activated charcoal from vegetable or organic sources is new to the industry, and coconut shell activated charcoal is rarely used for water filtration systems. Its use had been reserved for the cosmetic and medical industry. In addition to covering the gap between organically sourced charcoal to be used in water filters, the need for a technician to be involved in the installation process was eliminated. The simplicity of the model allows children to install and use it. It is the first water filter to be produced locally in Ecuador. It is an inexpensive alternative to other filtration products with much higher costs, an investment that most families are unable to afford.

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NATIONAL WINNERS

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OUR PARTNERS

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