Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Quenching the thirst for clean, safe water

30.04.2015

It is estimated that one in nine people globally lack access to safe water. Michigan State University researchers are looking to fill that critical need and provide safe drinking water to the most remote locations in the world with a new foam water filter that significantly reduces dangerous pathogens in drinking water.

"The foam filter is the first of its kind to address a wide range of the biological and economic factors that hinder development of remote water filtration systems," said Joan Rose, Homer Nowlin Chair in water research and author of the study. "This filter is easier to use and more effective than traditional methods."


A family poses with a household foam water filter in Ghana, Africa.

Photo by Amway

Published in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, the study examined a multibarrier biofilm foam filter, designed and manufactured by Amway, as a low-cost alternative to existing household filtration methods.

"The foam filter combines existing water treatment principles and is evidence that conventional municipal water treatment processes can be reinvented into a small, light and portable system," Rose said.

The filter features a unique biological layer, which allows organisms within the foam to attack foreign pathogens as water passes through. Growth of 'friendly' microorganisms in this layer enable the filter to become more efficient at reducing protozoa, bacteria and viruses over time. The newly discovered material also has other advantages such as ease of use, maintenance and affordability.

Many existing filtration methods do not effectively reduce microbial levels and can be complex to use and tedious to maintain. Communities that take ownership of water supply maintenance and sustainability successfully become invested in that supply, according to Rose.

"An entire community is affected by the quality of their water," Rose said. "A disease outbreak among members may be traced back to the water source, so the methods these communities rely on need to be effective and sustainable."

Next steps for the filter include field studies at the Crow Reservation in Montana, and in a small village outside of Tamale in Ghana. Ongoing research on the foam filter will be conducted by a collaborative multi-institutional research team with members from MSU, Montana State University, University of Arizona and University of North Carolina.

###

Funding for this study and future work with the filter is provided by Amway, a global direct selling company based in Ada, Michigan.

Also contributing to the study were Christopher Wendt, Program in Public Health, MSU; Rebecca Ives, and Stephanie Longstaff, Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, MSU; Anne Hoyt, Ken Conrad, and Roy Kuennen from Amway.

Mackenzie Kastl | EurekAlert!

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht A promising target for kidney fibrosis
21.04.2017 | Brigham and Women's Hospital

nachricht Stem cell transplants: activating signal paths may protect from graft-versus-host disease
20.04.2017 | Technische Universität München

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

Im Focus: Quantum-physical Model System

Computer-assisted methods aid Heidelberg physicists in reproducing experiment with ultracold atoms

Two researchers at Heidelberg University have developed a model system that enables a better understanding of the processes in a quantum-physical experiment...

Im Focus: Glacier bacteria’s contribution to carbon cycling

Glaciers might seem rather inhospitable environments. However, they are home to a diverse and vibrant microbial community. It’s becoming increasingly clear that they play a bigger role in the carbon cycle than previously thought.

A new study, now published in the journal Nature Geoscience, shows how microbial communities in melting glaciers contribute to the Earth’s carbon cycle, a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New quantum liquid crystals may play role in future of computers

21.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A promising target for kidney fibrosis

21.04.2017 | Health and Medicine

Light rays from a supernova bent by the curvature of space-time around a galaxy

21.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>