Two teens invent device to filter toxic microplastics, win $50,000

Two teenagers from Woodlands, Texas have recently made headlines for their innovative invention aimed at tackling the pervasive issue of microplastic pollution. Victoria Ou and Justin Huang, both 17, developed a device that utilizes ultrasonic sound waves to remove microplastics from water. This groundbreaking invention earned them top honors at the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair in Los Angeles, where they received first place in the Earth and Environmental Sciences category and the prestigious Gordon E. Moore Award for Positive Outcomes for Future Generations.

Microplastics, which have been found everywhere from human blood to the summit of Mount Everest, pose a significant threat to human health and the environment. The duo's device, though in its early stages, has shown promising results in removing between 84% and 94% of microplastics from water in a single pass. Ou and Huang envision their technology being used in a variety of settings, from wastewater treatment plants to laundry machines.

Despite their success, the young inventors acknowledge that there is still much work to be done to refine and scale up their device. They hope to continue developing their technology to make it more efficient and cost-effective for widespread use. The $50,000 prize they received at the science fair will undoubtedly aid in furthering their research and development efforts.

In a world where the prevalence of microplastics continues to grow, the work of Ou and Huang represents a significant step towards addressing this pressing environmental issue. As they look towards the future, the pair remains committed to improving their device and making a positive impact on the fight against microplastic pollution.


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