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Electrified nano filter promises to cut costs for clean drinking water

Date:
October 14, 2010
Source:
American Chemical Society
Summary:
With almost one billion people lacking access to clean, safe drinking water, scientists are reporting development and successful initial tests of an inexpensive new filtering technology that kills up to 98 percent of disease-causing bacteria in water in seconds without clogging.

With almost one billion people lacking access to clean, safe drinking water, scientists are reporting development and successful initial tests of an inexpensive new filtering technology that kills up to 98 percent of disease-causing bacteria in water in seconds without clogging. A report on the technology appears in Nano Letters.

Yi Cui and colleagues explain that most water purifiers work by trapping bacteria in tiny pores of filter material. Pushing water through those filters requires electric pumps and consumes a lot of energy. In addition, the filters can get clogged and must be changed periodically. The new material, in contrast, has relatively huge pores, which allow water to flow through easily. And it kills bacteria outright, rather than just trapping them.

The scientists knew that contact with silver and electricity can destroy bacteria, and decided to combine both approaches. They spread sub-microscopic silver nanowires onto cotton, and then added a coating of carbon nanotubes, which give the filter extra electrical conductivity. Tests of the material on E. coli-tainted water showed that the silver/electrified cotton killed up to 98 percent of the bacteria. The filter material never clogged, and the water flowed through it very quickly without any need for a pump. "Such technology could dramatically lower the cost of a wide array of filtration technologies for water as well as food, air, and pharmaceuticals where the need to frequently replace filters is a large cost and difficult challenge," their report states.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Chemical Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. David T. Schoen, Alia P. Schoen, Liangbing Hu, Han Sun Kim, Sarah C. Heilshorn, Yi Cui. High Speed Water Sterilization Using One-Dimensional Nanostructures. Nano Letters, 2010; 10 (9): 3628 DOI: 10.1021/nl101944e

Cite This Page:

American Chemical Society. "Electrified nano filter promises to cut costs for clean drinking water." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 October 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101013124332.htm>.
American Chemical Society. (2010, October 14). Electrified nano filter promises to cut costs for clean drinking water. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101013124332.htm
American Chemical Society. "Electrified nano filter promises to cut costs for clean drinking water." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101013124332.htm (accessed September 16, 2014).

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