Aerogel: The SDGs

Week #20: How The Filter Aligns Its Mission With The SDGs

Carlos Manuel Jarquín Sánchez
4 min readDec 20, 2022

Preface! ✨

Hello everyone!

My intentions for writing these articles are:

  • Explain technical information about aerogels in simple terms (to the public)
  • Store information and habits for my future self and others (in <7 minutes)

Coolio? Sweet. Enjoy the series :-)

What Are The SDGs? 📜

“In a very real way, then, materials are a reflection of who we are, a multi-scale expression of our human needs and desires.”

— Mark Miodownik

Poverty. Climate Change. Water. Food. Inequality.

These words have been echoing throughout the world for quite some time. Most of us have developed empathy for people facing these problems, some of us donate to charities, while others create blueprints on how to solve the modern problems of the 21st century.

One of these blueprints is called The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. (UN SDGs)

The SDGs are 17 goals that the UN and 193 countries ratified in 2015. The goals are problems that the UN & the 193 countries want to eradicate from the world by 2030.


But Carlos, what is an effective method of completing these objectives?


Like literally, materials. Lift the closest thing to you (most likely your phone/computer lol).

Now take a look at the space that you’re in. Everything that you use and interact with is some sort of material packaged nicely in chemical bonds.

The modern world only follows the laws of chemistry (and physics), because it’s the laws of nature, the environment where we built our home. Even our cavemen ancestors had to follow these laws.

The present materials define the physical boundaries of humanity.

This is not a new concept.

The National Academy of Engineering in the year 2008 identified the so-called 14 Grand Challenges in Engineering for the 21st century.

These are challenges like providing access to clean water, making solar energy economical, securing cyberspace, etc.

These challenges MUST be solved if we choose to continue a peaceful existence.

This Is How You’ll Attempt To Resolve The Challenge. ✊🏽

Target Objectives 🎯

The filter contains the capacity to fulfill its responsibility to the following United Nations SDGs:

  • Clean Water & Sanitation (SDG #6)
  • Industry, Innovation, & Infrastructure (SDG #9)
  • Responsible Consumption & Production (SDG #12)
  • Life Below Water (SDG #14)

How does it fulfill its promise to the SDGs?

SDG #6: The primary intention of aerogels is to return your water & attention to the consumers’ control.

SDG #9: Frontier materials are the rubber, steel, wood, and glass of the 22nd century. They can replace the materials that run our modern technology, industries, & infrastructure. You’ll build a futuristic-based filter to prevent a future war for clean water.

SDG #12: The materials will be recycled for secondary usage, reusable for weeks, & composted after their end-of-life. No pollution or secondary waste is created during production, usage, & disposal.

SDG #14: Some of the primary people (Peru, India) consume marine life that has been contaminated with heavy metal ions. Removing the heavy metal ions provides clean food & an additional source of income.

Contamination Of Fish From Heavy Metals (Espinar, Peru)

The secondary SDGs that you target as a consequence of the intentions are:

  • Good Health & Well-Being (SDG #3)
  • Decent Work & Economic Growth (SDG #8)

How does it fulfill its promise to the secondary SDGs?

SDG #3: Providing clean water provides can reduce the mortality of young children, slash the prevalence of nutrition-depleting diarrhea, eliminate defects from damage to neural systems, etc.

SDG #8: For every US Dollar that is invested into clean water, one gains 4.3 US Dollars in economic productivity in water & sanitation services or products.

We have the target to fulfill its responsibility to aid the National Academy Of Engineering’s Challenge to solve the goal of: “Access To Clean Water”


Closing Thoughts 💭

“There is no peace without development or acknowledgement of human rights.”

-Jan Eliasson

One advantage that the filter has is that it’s a baby. A baby project can provide a level of service that the biggest water companies in the world could never replicate.

Think about it. Jeff Bezos or Elon Musk sends you a personalized text saying:

“Thank you, [your name], for buying this product for this intention.”

Acknowledging the commitment & responsibility to contribute & respect the SDGs & The Grand Challenges Of Engineering is an example of obsessing over the customers’ experience of the future aerogel water purifier.

Praise Their Existence To Gain Trust. 👐

Connect →🔗



© 2023 by Carlos Manuel Jarquín Sánchez. All Rights Reserved.