Pura Aerem: Leveraging Catalytic Converters for Enhanced Filtering Efficacy
Shanza Sami
Iowa City, Iowa
2022 Finalist
Northwest Junior High School
1507 8th St
Coralville, IA 52241-1746
8th grade | 13 years old
Air pollution is one of the greatest environmental risks to health. By reducing air pollution levels, countries can reduce the burden of diseases from stroke, heart disease, lung cancer, and both chronic and acute respiratory diseases, including asthma. Shanza Sami has developed a five-stage prototype with a diffuse filtration system, carbon nanotube (CNT) screening, electrolysis chamber, hydrogen fuel cells, and photoelectrochemical oxidation (PECO) technology. The carbon nanotube filtration system will be utilized to adhere to carbon dioxide through dynamic simulations. Additionally, water vapor will be utilized through an electrolysis chamber and hydrogen fuel cell to separate water vapor into breathable oxygen and hydrogen. Shanza hopes to use PECO technology to decompose volatile organic compounds that are dangerous to inhale. 
Why did you enter the Young Scientist Challenge?
I entered the 3M Discovery Young Scientist Challenge to work with 3M's mentors to further refine and simplify my design, making it accessible to everyone. I hope to create a positive impact on the world.
What is your favorite invention of the last 100 years, and why?
The world wide web. This invention has helped people from all over the world connect, collaborate, and access various sources of information.
In 15 years I hope to be...
A biomedical engineer, so I can utilize the power of technology to save lives.
There are no dead ends, just uncharted pathways leading to new discoveries.”
Shanza Sami