The Computing for Clean Water Project (C4CW)
Principal Investigator:Josef Ellingsen, Francois Grey, Ming Ma, Quanshui Zheng
Welcome! The Computing for Clean Water (C4CW) project is a joint project between CNMM and several international research institutions, with the support of IBM’s World Community Grid, and thousands of volunteers.
The team at CNMM is investigating how water flows in nanotubes, using a computer-based simulation technique known as molecular dynamics. The ultimate goal of this research is deeper insight into how nanotubes and other porous nanomaterials can be used to build a new generation of cheap water filters, to alleviate the pressing demand for clean water in large parts of China and many other parts of the developing world.
To do these simulations with the sort of accuracy we need takes a lot of computing power, far more than is accessible to us currently. Volunteers provide this computing power by allowing some simulations to run using the idle time of the processor chips in their laptops and PCs, for example while they are writing emails or surfing the web. Indeed, when doing these common tasks, the processor is idle often more than 90% of the time, and using some of that idle time turns out to be energetically very efficient, since it only adds a few percent extra power to what the computer would otherwise consume.
The results from each simulation, when combined together statistically for millions of runs, help us create a pool of necessary data that can be analyzed to understand why recent experiments show that water flows much more easily in nanotubes than standard hydrodynamical considerations would normally lead us to believe. Understanding this process is a first step to optimizing it for practical purposes, in particular to make cheaper filters that do not require so much pressue to filter water through them.
This is an exciting project, but it is also complicated and will run over some time. World Community Grid enables scientists and volunteers to co-operate in a very simple and powerful way. We are grateful for the continuing support of every one of our volunteers and will post our progress here to keep you updated.
If you are not already a volunteer, you can join today here.
With your help, we look forward to accomplishing great things together.
The C4CW Scientists
P.S. Your questions about the project and suggestions for improvements on the website are welcome, please write to c4cwweb [at] gmail [dot]com.
Latest Project Updates
- News about C4CW from the Tsinghua team (June 2012)
In January we announced that we had found some exciting results. We mentioned then that we hoped to have some new results to share in April. The results we obtained indicated that the water was flowing through the tubes in a complicated non linear fashion, and we have investigated this behaviour to ensure that it not only a numerical artifact, but actual physical behaviour of the system. In order to investigate this we have obtained some new results for tubes of two different lengths, 15nm and 30nm. So far our results clearly indicate that the non-linear behaviour depends on the tube length. A few weeks ago, we started running another test on a 20nm long tube, to better understand what the results mean, and to obtain more insight into what may cause this curious behaviour. We'll keep the volunteers updated on progress with this, and thanks to everyone for helping us do these laborious calculations.
C4CW Science Publications and Presentations
C4CW in the News