Meire Mehare

Developing an Air Cathode Assisted Iron Electrocoagulation System to Remove Arsenic from Contaminated Drinking Water in Central California

Arsenic is a toxic carcinogen causing multiple forms of cancer and low IQ in children. In California, about 55,000 people are exposed to high levels of arsenic via their community water systems. As current technologies are too costly or complex to implement, the Gadgil lab is developing an affordable and effective technology, called Air Cathode Assisted Iron Electrocoagulation (ACAIE) at community scale. In this project, to test ACAIE outside of the lab, my graduate student mentor and I are working with an elementary school in Central California that is currently out of compliance in terms of the arsenic in their drinking water. The projects summer focus is on field implementation and engineering design to test the efficacy of ACAIE in removing arsenic from real California groundwater. I will assist our team in setting up the 6-week field trial in Central California, monitoring water quality parameters, and evaluating technology performance over time. At the UCB lab, I will utilize analytical instruments to characterize the treated water from the field and to help improve the technology based on reactor design and operating conditions.

Message to Sponsor

I am very thankful and appreciative of the fact that I will be able to apply the fundamental knowledge that I got in a class room and apply it to solve a real world problem. It will be the first time that I work on developing a technology and I am super excited about that. And this will all be possible because of your respected SURF Program.
  • Major: Chemical Engineering/NE
  • Sponsor: Johnson Fund
  • Mentor: Dana Hernandez