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Electrically Conducting Nanomaterials Filter for Point-of-Use Water Disinfection

Funding Year: 
2011
Region(s): 
North America
Research Areas: 
Freshwater
Principal Investigators: 

The goal of this project is to investigate the feasibility of developing an ultra-fast, low-cost portable filter that removes bacteria and other pathogens from drinking water.

Worldwide, more than one billion people lack reliable access to clean water. Disinfection, the last barrier against contaminated pathogens in drinking water, is critical for ensuring public health. Commonly used water treatment methods such as mechanical separation, chemical disinfection and UV disinfection are limited by low treatment speed, high energy consumption, harmful byproducts, expense and other factors.

Nanomaterials offer a new simple way to disinfect the pathogens for point-of-use at high speed and low cost. This project will study the effectiveness of these filters against all kinds of environmentallyrelevant pathogens such as bacteria, virus, protozoa and helminthes. Researchers will study the disinfection mechanisms driven by electricity and tailor the filters with the most effectiveness against the real contaminated water in the environment.

Principal Investigators:

Yi Cui Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, of Photon Science, Senior Fellow at the Precourt Institute for Energy and Professor, by courtesy, of chemistry

Alexandria Boehm Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Senior Fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment