My watch list  

Abul Hussam

Abul Hussam is the inventor of the Sono arsenic filter. He is a chemistry professor at George Mason University (GMU) in Fairfax, Virginia.

Born and raised in Bangladesh, Hussam moved to the United States in 1978 for graduate studies. Later he received a doctorate in analytical chemistry and became a naturalized citizen of USA. The Centreville, Virginia resident has spent much of this career trying to devise a solution to the problem of arsenic contamination of groundwater in Eastern India and Bangladesh.

Hussam started working on this problem since 1993.[1] His final innovation is a simple, maintenance-free system that uses sand, charcoal, bits of brick and shards of a type of cast iron. The filter removes almost every trace of arsenic from well water. The wells brought fresh groundwater to farmers and others who previously had been drinking from bacteria- and virus-laced ponds and mudholes. [2]

He also had to devise a way to find an accurate way to measure arsenic in water. This was achieved in the 90's to the mid 90's.


The National Academy of Engineering announced on 1 February 2007 that the 2007 Grainger challenge Prize for Sustainability would go to Hussam.[3] Hussam's invention is already in use today, preventing serious health problems in residents of the professor's native Bangladesh. This includes a $1 million engineering prize - and Hussam plans to use most of the money to distribute the filters to needy communities around the world.

Hussam said he plans to use 70 percent of his prize so the filters can be distributed to needy communities. He said 25 percent will be used for more research, and 5 percent will be donated to GMU. [2]

The 2007 sustainability prize is funded by the Grainger Foundation of Lake Forest, Illinois, and the contest was set up to target the arsenic problem. Among the criteria for winning was an affordable, reliable and environmentally friendly solution to the arsenic problem that did not require electricity. [2]


  1. ^ The Mason Gazette, Hussam at Work to Curb Arsenic Poisoning in Bangladesh, 16 Jun 1999.
  2. ^ a b c Professor Wins $1 Million Prize for Providing Clean Water, One Village at a Time, Associated Press, 2/3/07.
  3. ^ National Academies Press Release, accessed 5 Feb 2007.
  • National Academies Press Release, accessed 5 Feb 2007.
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Abul_Hussam". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
Your browser is not current. Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 does not support some functions on Chemie.DE