Research Notes of Successful Campaigns

A Variety of Plants Can Be Used

Here is an Infographic outlining the plants and their properties from NASA's study. If you already have one of these plants in your home, great job! Since a great variety of plants have the ability to consume formaldehyde, a custom system can be made based on the climate. Many critics argue that one plant in every room is not enough to keep formaldehyde levels down in the average household. My Project attempts to confirm a possible solution to this problem.

A New Aeration Method

Here is a quick update on what is happening with this project.

When testing out the air stone that I ordered, I was greatly disappointed with the results. Air only exited the stone in a few places, it was not dispersed as much as I wanted. I discovered that I can poke pinholes into some aquarium tubing, and get consistent flow throughout the length of the tube. Here are some images to show you what I mean. 

Another Hiccup

At this point I have acquired all of my materials. I have begun taking samples for the baseline level of formaldehyde for future comparison against levels with plants present. As you can see in the picture below the baseline level in my test room is only 10 ppb, (at least I know my home has relatively low formaldehyde levels), but this does not give me much room for experimentation because my detection limit is 5ppb. To address the issue I will be applying plastic resin glue made from urea formaldehyde to raise the formaldehyde levels. Ideally the test room will reach levels around 80-100 ppb. 

What is Photo-catalysis?

Photocatalysis is a science of employing a catalyst that is utilized for speeding up chemical reactions that require or engages light. A photocatalyst is defined as a material that is capable of absorbing light, producing electron-hole pairs that enable chemical transformations of the reaction participants and regenerate its chemical composition after each cycle of such interactions.

But in Our project, we are mainly concerned with photocatalysis taking place on the surface of anatase( an ore of titanium dioxide).

 For people who are not from a science background, this can be explained as a series of oxidation that takes place on the surface of titanium dioxide. 

Things are moving forward!

Hello Everyone,

I am sorry it has taken so long to post an update, but I have made a good deal of progress over the last few weeks. I now have 24 electronics boards all communicating with each other through a 48 port network switch. Currently, the system consists of 3 towers of (BeagleBone Black) electronics boards. Each tower has 8 boards and is powered by a Sebrant 60W USB charging hub (with a total rated output of 12A, the hub provides plenty of power for the boards).

I am using an old laptop (running Ubuntu) to interact with the system (while you can actually connect a keyboard, mouse, and monitor to each electronics board, it is easier to remotely log in). 

Also, after a couple weeks of bug fixing, I have completed 2 tutorials that explain how to program the system: Demonstration Build and Desktop Build. The Demonstration Build is for someone who just wants to try things out or see if a cluster of microcomputers is something worth pursuing. The Desktop Build takes much longer to complete, but is ultimately more useful.

My next task is to build a case for the system and to install some cooling fans (with 24 boards running at the same time, the towers get pretty warm). I have not quite figured out how the case will work or how everything will be positioned, but as long as the boards are protected and things don't get too hot, it should be okay.

Thank you again for your generous support! Things are going well and I will be sure to keep you updated on my progress. I will also make an effort to provide updates that don't require a background in engineering to understand. :)