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OpenMaji: portable chlorinator for water potabilization / Antonio Scribano, Lorenzo Banchini, Giovanni Del Signore

International Design Contest 2010
Product Design


OpenMaji is a portable chlorinator for water potabilization in poor countries, where unsafe water kills 1.8 million childs each year. Using 2.25 mg of salt, 75 ml of water and a dynamo, OpenMaji creates a solution of hypochlorite suitable to potabilize from 30-50 litres of water depending on the viral charge of water. As said by World Health Organization (WHO) “Of the drinking water disinfectants, free chlorine is the most widely used, the most easily used and the most affordable. It is also highly effective against nearly all waterborne pathogens.”
OpenMaji is really simple to use (watch the video):

  1. unscrew the transparent vessel turning it counter-clockwise;
  2. fill the bottom of the vessel with salt (2.25gr);
  3. add water up to level line (75 ml). If water is turbid, filter it with a few layers of tissue;
  4. screw the vessel to the main body and shake until the salt is dissolved;
  5. open the handle and spin it for about 5 minutes untiil the rear led turns off (OpenMaji allow the user to stop for one minute without invalidating the process);
  6. unscrew the vessel container and add the solution to the water to be purified (30-50 litres). Wait 1/2 hour before drinking.

Main features:

  • easy to use: the vessel is designed to easily allow the correct dosage of water and salt and the user just need to spin the handle until the led turns off;
  • durable and cheap: it works using really simple and cheap mechanisms (it has been estimated that for a 500.000 pieces production the final price of the product could reach 10 dollars);
  • modifiable and repearable: it can be easily mounted and dismounted using just a screwdriver;
  • upgradeable: a 2 way spring lever allow to plug any kind of power source up to 12V (i.e. PV panels, Car batteries, etc)
  • efficient: the electrode of stainless steel and titanium allow the production of higher quantities of hypochlorite using few electric power.

The OpenMaji Project’s design team was born during the development of our degree thesis for the Product Design course at ISIA Florence, aiming at designing a portable device for the potabilization of water to be used in poor countries. Afterwards, encouraged by the same passion, we are carrying on this path for Openmaji to become available to all those people dealing with problems caused by unsafe water.

About the author(s):

PAD Pages on Art & Design is an international, open access, and peer-reviewed e-journal.

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