Peter Majewski and Chiu Ping Chan of the Ian Wark Research Institute, at the University of South Australia, explain that the availability of drinking quality water is fast becoming a major socio-economic issue across the globe, especially in the developing world. However, water purification technology is often complicated, requires sophisticated equipment and is expensive to run and maintain. Moreover, it usually requires a final costly disinfection stage. The Australian team suggests that nanotechnology could provide a simple answer to the problem.
The researchers have investigated how silica particles can be coated easily with a nanometre-thin layer of active material based on a hydrocarbon with a silicon-containing anchor. The coating is formed through a chemical self-assembly process so involves nothing more than stirring the ingredients to make the active particles.
These active particles, so called Surface Engineered Silica (SES), were then tested to demonstrate that they could remove biological molecules, pathogens such as viruses like the Polio virus, bacteria like Escherichia coli, and Cryptosporidium parvum, which is a waterborne parasite.
"The results clearly show that organic species can efficiently be removed at pH ranges of drinking water by stirring the coated particles in the contaminated water for up to one hour and filtering the powder," the researchers say. They point out that the filtration process occurs through an electrostatic attraction between the pathogens and the surface engineered particles.
The recent report entitled 'Water for People - Water for Life' of the World Water Assessment Program of the UNESCO says that more than 6000 people die every day due to water-related diseases, including diarrhoea, worm infections, and infectious diseases. In addition, organic pollutants from industrial waste water from pulp and paper mills, textiles and leather factories, steel foundries, and petrochemicals refineries, are a major cause of illness in parts of the world where regulations do not necessarily protect people from such industrial outflows. The team's nanotech approach to water purification could help prevent disease and poisoning for potentially millions of people.
Albert Ang | alfa
Loss of habitat causes double damage to species richness
02.04.2019 | Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig
Deep decarbonization of industry is possible with innovations
25.03.2019 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)
Researchers led by Francesca Ferlaino from the University of Innsbruck and the Austrian Academy of Sciences report in Physical Review X on the observation of supersolid behavior in dipolar quantum gases of erbium and dysprosium. In the dysprosium gas these properties are unprecedentedly long-lived. This sets the stage for future investigations into the nature of this exotic phase of matter.
Supersolidity is a paradoxical state where the matter is both crystallized and superfluid. Predicted 50 years ago, such a counter-intuitive phase, featuring...
A stellar flare 10 times more powerful than anything seen on our sun has burst from an ultracool star almost the same size as Jupiter
A localization phenomenon boosts the accuracy of solving quantum many-body problems with quantum computers which are otherwise challenging for conventional computers. This brings such digital quantum simulation within reach on quantum devices available today.
Quantum computers promise to solve certain computational problems exponentially faster than any classical machine. “A particularly promising application is the...
The technology could revolutionize how information travels through data centers and artificial intelligence networks
Engineers at the University of California, Berkeley have built a new photonic switch that can control the direction of light passing through optical fibers...
Physicists observe how electron-hole pairs drift apart at ultrafast speed, but still remain strongly bound.
Modern electronics relies on ultrafast charge motion on ever shorter length scales. Physicists from Regensburg and Gothenburg have now succeeded in resolving a...
17.04.2019 | Event News
15.04.2019 | Event News
09.04.2019 | Event News
24.04.2019 | Trade Fair News
23.04.2019 | Information Technology
23.04.2019 | Earth Sciences