Shining the light on contaminated water

When a water supply is contaminated, people are usually ordered to boil their H2O. But if Curt Elmore’s emergency drinking water system proves reliable, people will be able to drink water that has been treated with ultraviolet energy.


Elmore, GeoE’86, an associate professor of geological engineering at Missouri S&T, is working on a portable prototype of the system for the U.S. Army. The Leonard Wood Institute has provided more than $245,000 to support the research.
Elmore’s drinking water system, which runs on wind and solar power, could be deployed to disaster sites or combat areas. According to Elmore, water can be pumped from a pond or stream into the system, where it is then exposed to energy from a UV lamp.
The UV lamp, which looks like a fluorescent light bulb, is capable of destroying bacteria and even explosives compounds in groundwater. In Elmore’s prototype, the treated water is stored in a tank and delivered to thirsty consumers through a spigot. “For example, people staying at emergency shelters could fill personal water bottles while they wait out a disaster,” he says.
Elmore plans to test the system at Fort Leonard Wood in the coming year. He says the prototype can be hauled by a pick-up truck and doesn’t require a lot of maintenance.

Around the Puck

Q&A: Miners got game

What was the most memorable sports team during your time on campus? As part of his research for the S&T 150th history book, Larry Gragg, Curators’ Distinguished Teaching Professor emeritus of history and political science, asked you to share your memories. Here are a few of your answers.

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Honoring new academy members

In October, 12 alumni and friends were inducted into Missouri S&T academies. Academy membership recognizes careers of distinction and invites members to share their wisdom, influence and resources with faculty and students. Some academies hold induction ceremonies in the fall, others in the spring.

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Boosting cyber-physical security

A wide array of complex systems that rely on computers — from public water supply systems and electric grids to chemical plants and self-driving vehicles — increasingly come under not just digital but physical attacks. Bruce McMillin, professor and interim chair of computer science at Missouri S&T, is looking to change that by developing stronger safeguards […]

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MXene discovery could improve energy storage

In spite of their diminutive size, 2-D titanium carbide materials known as MXenes are “quite reactive” to water, a discovery S&T researchers say could have implications for energy storage and harvesting applications such as batteries, supercapacitors and beyond. Their findings were published in 2018 in the American Chemical Society journal Inorganic Chemistry.

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A faster charge for electric vehicles

One drawback of electric vehicles (EVs) is the time it takes to charge them. But what if you could plug in your EV and fully charge it as quickly as it takes to fill up a conventional car with gasoline? Missouri S&T researchers, in collaboration with three private companies, are working to make speedy charging […]

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