The Chaipattana Aerator's History
“Water is Life”
As a result of Thailand’s rapid economic, technological, industrial, and social development as well as population increase, the country’s natural resources have depleted drastically. This was coupled with misuse of natural resource evidently leading to the problem of environmental deterioration, especially in big cities.
An important environment problem is water pollution caused by discharge of water from factories, hospitals, hotels, stores, markets, communities as well as households, directly into ditches or public canals. Since the water did not undergo any treatment before being discharged, it then became polluted and the problem of environmental degradation had worsened. Inevitably, the situation had affected the well-being of many Thais.
His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej was highly concerned about the sufferings and, on many occasions, traveled to inspect the water pollution problems at various locations in and outside of Bangkok, including its peripheral areas. During those visits, His Majesty granted several initiatives to solve the water pollution.
From 1984 to 1987, His Majesty had suggested the use of good quality water to dilute polluted water, resulting in the term Good Water Chases Bad, as well as the use of water hyacinth and aquatic plants as natural water filters. These approaches proved to be able to alleviate the problem, yet further attempts remained essential to manage the water pollution in Thailand which had become more increasingly critical since 1988.
Upon the realization that the natural methods were no longer adequate to tackle the problem, His Majesty graciously granted an initiative to invent an aerator that was economical and Thai-made. He modified the aerator from the function of Luk, a device made from local wisdom used by farmers to scoop water into paddy fields. This initiative truly reflected His Majesty’s strong desire to share the burden of the government in mitigating polluted water.
For that matter, His Majesty authorized the Chaipattana Foundation to provide financial support for the study and research to develop his invention. With the cooperation of the Royal Irrigation Department, a machine for polluted water treatment was then created and is widely recognized today as the Chaipattana Aerator.
Study, Research and Development
On 24 December, 1988, His Majesty graciously granted another initiative to treat polluted water by adding air which can be done by two methods as follows:
One method is to compress air into the main pipe and expel it through diffuser tubes. The other method is to use a waterwheel to lift the water and return it. This waterwheel rotates slowly by using a small electric motor, not exceeding 2 horsepower, or using power from waterflow. It was considered beneficial to construct models of the aerator and experiment with them at Phra Mongkutklao Hospital and Bavornives Vihara Temple.
In accordance with His Majesty the King’s Initiative, the Royal Irrigation Department conducted a study and invented a model of the Chaipattana Aerator by modification of the flotation waterwheel pump. This aerator was installed to treat polluted water at Phra Mongkutklao Hospital and Bavornives Vihara Temple in 1989 as a plan to carry out further study, research and development of waste treatment systems for about four to five years.
The Chaipattana Aerator, formally known as the Chaipattana Low Speed Surface Aerator, Model RX-2 (Royal Experiment Model 2), is capable of transferring oxygen up to 1.2 kilograms per horsepower per hour. Not only is the aerator effective in improving the quality of water, it is also easy to install and transport from one location to another. It is suitable for treating waste water in natural water areas like ponds, swamps, creeks, and canals in which the depth is more than one meter and the width more than three meters.
The Chaipattana Aerator is capable of adapting to fluctuations in the water levels. The main components include:
1) Twelve arm buckets frame with a diameter of two meters.
2) Six of the 110 liters of water spraying buckets are perforated and attached to the rim of the frame.
- The water spraying buckets are rotated by transmitting power from a two-horsepower electric motor at a line voltage of 380 volts; 3 phase; 50 hertz.
- The transmission system uses a reduction gear motor, a roller chain and a sprocket. This allows the water spraying buckets to scoop water at five revolutions per minute and at a depth of 0.50 meters below the water surface, and to spray water above the water surface at a height of 1 meter.
The functioning of the water spraying buckets creates a large interface area between water and air, resulting in oxygen being quickly absorbed into the water. When waste water is scooped up, exposed to air, and then released, it creates air bubbles which eventually drop below the water surface. As each water spraying bucket rotates and presses down into the water, it causes air to compress in the bucket under the water surface until the bucket completely submerges in the water. This increases the effectiveness in transferring oxygen.
After oxygen has been added, the bucket will propel water at a low of 0.20 meters per second in order to push water away from the aerator at a distance of 10 meter. A by-product of the aerator is achieved from the movement of the floating vessel which causes the hydrofoil assy to stir and mix water with oxygen below the water surface. This movement simultaneously brings about a series of activity like adding air, stirring water in an integrated manner, and controlling the flow of waste water in a horizontal direction.
Models of the Chaipattana Aerator
Model A: Water spraying buckets are rotated by the transmitting power system, using both roller chain and chain sprocket, together with 1:50 reduction gear attached to a two-horsepower electric motor.
Model B: Water spraying buckets are rotated by the transmitting power system using 1:300, two-horsepower electric reduction gear motor, driving on one side.
Model C: Similar in feature to Model A, but different in application in that it is not stationary but mobile, this model is used in case of no accessible electric power in the water source. It is driven by gasoline engine and the direction is controlled by an attendant.
Model D: Water spraying buckets are rotated by 1:50 reduction gear motor, together with 1:6 reduction spur gear, two-horsepower electric motor.
It is an overwhelming joy for all Thais upon learning that the Chaipattana Aerator has been considered and received a patent in His Majesty the King’s name on February 2, 1993. The aerator is the world’s ninth mechanical aeration device to be patented and the first to be registered as well issued a patent to a Monarch. This patent signifies His Majesty the King as “the first Monarch in the Thai and world history to receive a patent.”
Awards of Honour
The Chaipattana Aerator became famous once again when the Office of the National Research Council bestowed upon His Majesty the King the First Prize Award in the category of creative work of invention for the benefit of the nation for the year 1993. The Council also praised His Majesty’s ingenuity in creating an aerator which effectively treats waste water.
Moreover, the cabinet issued a resolution to declare the 2nd of February of each year as “Inventor’s Day,” to honour the day on which His Majesty received the patent, that is February 2, 1993.
For the international awards of honour, the Belgian Chamber of Inventor, which is Europe’s oldest organization of invention, organized the Brussels Eureka 2000: the 49th Anniversary of the World Exhibition of Innovation, Research and New Technology between November 14-20, 2000, in Brussels, Belgium.
The International Committee announced during the Award Presentation Ceremony before researchers, inventors, and other guests that
“The various awards presented today are granted after a careful consideration. The invention of every field must be able to apply to a wide use as well as contribute to developing the quality of life and the global environment. The Chaipattana Low Speed Surface Aerator, Model RX-2 is therefore praiseworthy as the outstanding invention for this ceremony.”
Furthermore, the International Committee praised His Majesty the King as follows:
“The King of Thailand is the developer. He has great perseverance and ingenuity as well as excellent perception. He works hard for his people. He uses simple technology in his invention which can be applied worldwide.”
On this occasion, the International Committee and the National Committee presented cup prizes, medals, and certificates to His Majesty for his sagacious invention of the Chaipattana Aerator which included:
- MINISTER J. CHABERT Cup which is the award for an outstanding invention presented by Minister of Economy of Brussels Capital Region.
- GRAND PRIX INTERNATIONAL Cup which is the award for the ingenuity in invention presented by International Council of the World Organization of Periodical Press.
- Prix OMPI Femme Inventeur Brussels EUREKA 2000 Medal together with certificate which is the award for the world outstanding invention presented by World Organization of Intellectual Property.
- Yugoslavia Cup which is the award praising His Majesty’s ingenuity presented by the Group of Yugoslavia countries.
- Gold Medal with Mention and certificate which is the award for praising the ingenuity of His Majesty in efficient application of the technology presented by Brussels Eureka 2000.
Debut of the Chaipattana Aerator in the Kingdom of Belgium
On 4 April, 2003, His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej, Honorary President of the Chaipattana Foundation, gave a royal command for Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, Executive Chairperson of the Chaipattana Foundation, to travel to Brussels, the Kingdom of Belgium, and present the Chaipattana Aerator as a Royal Gift at Woluwe Saint-Pierre Park. The handover ceremony was honoured by the presence of Her Majesty Queen Fabiola of the Kingdom of Belgium and proceeded amid the celebrated atmosphere of both the Belgians and Thais, living abroad and in Thailand.
To this date, the implementation of the aerator has produced a satisfactory result in making the water clear, reducing foul odour, and increasing oxygen content in the water where aquatic animals like turtle, snapping turtle, and fish can inhabit safely. The aerator is capable of treating wastes in all forms to an acceptable content standard. Presently, many agencies from both the public and private sectors, such as temples, hospitals, government agencies in Bangkok and other provinces, have urgently requested assistance from the Chaipattana Foundation and the Royal Irrigation Department in treating waste water.
The Chaipattana Aerator is widely accepted for its efficiency in treating waste water both domestically and internationally. It is capable of solving and improving the quality of water through the use of simple technology, but with immeasurable benefits and importance to the existence of mankind.