Plasma-Treated Nano Filter Help To Clean Water

Cross-sectional image of the carbon nanotubes

As we know our planet Earth has most of its part covered with water but that water is not fit for drinking because it is present in oceans in the form of saline water. Scientists have found a way to purify it to make this water pure for drinking.

A team of international researchers at CSIRO have found a new way to purify water in the developing world. It’s a filter made of plasma-charged carbon nano-tubes that can easily filter out harmful contaminants and even remove salt from otherwise undrinkable briny water. The filters are small — easy to integrate into a teapot-sized portable water purifier. For poor or remote villages, these devices would be much more practical than building a large-scale purification plant, which would require a large amount of energy and high labor costs to keep running.

For poor or remote villages, Plasma-Treated Nano Filter would be much more practical than building a large-scale purification plant

A team including Dr Zhaojun Han and Professor Kostya (Ken) Ostrikov from CSIRO's world-leading Plasma Nanoscience Laboratories worked on the newly-published study showing that water purification membranes enhanced by plasma-treated carbon nano-tubes are ideal for removing contaminants and brine from water.

Contaminated water would go in one end, and clean drinkable water would come out the other, according to Dr Han. The membranes could be integrated into portable water purification devices the size of a tea pot that would be rechargeable, inexpensive and more effective than many existing filtration methods.

“Small portable purification devices are increasingly recognised as the best way to meet the needs of clean water and sanitation in developing countries and in remote locations, minimising the risk of many serious diseases,” Dr Han says, “the large industrialised purification plants we see in other parts of the world are just not practical – they consume a large amount of energy and have high labour costs, making them very expensive to run.”

These new filters have some other benefits as well. Rather than requiring a continuous power supply, they’re rechargeable, making them perfect for locations without access to electricity. The filters are also incredibly versatile and able to filter out a variety of contaminants, including potentially harmful microorganisms — something other desalination systems can’t do.

Now that scientists have proven the method is effective, they’re working on investigating other nanomaterials, in the hopes of creating denser and stronger filters. The complete study has been published in the journal Nature Communications.
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Write by: RC - Saturday, August 17, 2013

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