Rachel Brouwer is a Canadian secondary school student from Bedford, Nova Scotia, who has invented a new method of killing bacteria in drinking water which requires no fuel and uses material commonly available in third world countries.
Brouwer is a student at Bedford Academy.
She started developing her purification system when she was eleven years old, after reading about cholera and seeing "do not drink" signs posted during a trip. The next year she demonstrated it at the Halifax Science Expo. Later, Brouwer entered her invention in the Canada-Wide Science Fair, and won a gold medal.
Brouwer's water pasteurizer is made of ABS pipe, plastic water bottles, cotton and charcoal. The water is heated in the sun and bacteria are killed by ultraviolet radiation; Brouwer created a temperature indicator made of soybean wax so that users can tell when the water is safe to drink.
In 2015 she was named a community hero by the Halifax Mooseheads. That year she began raising funds to patent her system, and to produce the wax temperature indicators.
In 2016 Brouwer was one of eight students chosen to represent Canada at the International Science and Engineering Fair in Phoenix, Arizona. She came second in the Earth and Environmental Sciences category. As well as a $1,500 cash prize, she has had an asteroid named after her by the International Astronomical Union.
Plans were made to test the water purifier in Africa, and Brouwer has been invited to Pakistan to test it there.
In addition to her scientific work, Brouwer plays on and soccer teams, and operates a small business selling skin care products.