Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Nanotechnology for water purification

Abstract:
Several nanotechnology approaches to water purification are currently being investigated and some already in use.

Nanotechnology for water purification

Mumbai | Posted on July 28th, 2010

Nanotechnology refers to a broad range of tools, techniques and applications that simply involve particles on the approximate size scale of a few to hundreds of nanometers in diameter. Particles of this size have some unique physicochemical and surface properties that lend themselves to novel uses. Indeed, advocates of nanotechnology suggest that this area of research could contribute to solutions for some of the major problems we face on the global scale such as ensuring a supply of safe drinking water for a growing population, as well as addressing issues in medicine, energy, and agriculture.

Writing in the International Journal of Nuclear Desalination, researchers at the D.J. Sanghvi College of Engineering, in Mumbai, India, explain that there are several nanotechnology approaches to water purification currently being investigated and some already in use. "Water treatment devices that incorporate nanoscale materials are already available, and human development needs for clean water are pressing," Alpana Mahapatra and colleagues Farida Valli and Karishma Tijoriwala, explain.

Water purification using nanotechnology exploits nanoscopic materials such as carbon nanotubes and alumina fibers for nanofiltration, it also utilizes the existence of nanoscopic pores in zeolite filtration membranes, as well as nanocatalysts and magnetic nanoparticles. Nanosensors, such as those based on titanium oxide nanowires or palladium nanoparticles are used for analytical detection of contaminants in water samples.

The impurities that nanotechnology can tackle depend on the stage of purification of water to which the technique is applied, the team adds. It can be used for removal of sediments, chemical effluents, charged particles, bacteria and other pathogens. They explain that toxic trace elements such as arsenic, and viscous liquid impurities such as oil can also be removed using nanotechnology.

"The main advantages of using nanofilters, as opposed to conventional systems, are that less pressure is required to pass water across the filter, they are more efficient, and they have incredibly large surface areas and can be more easily cleaned by back-flushing compared with conventional methods," the team says.

For instance, carbon nanotube membranes can remove almost all kinds of water contaminants including turbidity, oil, bacteria, viruses and organic contaminants. Although their pores are significantly smaller carbon nanotubes have shown to have an equal or a faster flow rate as compared to larger pores, possibly because of the smooth interior of the nanotubes. Nanofibrous alumina filters and other nanofiber materials also remove negatively charged contaminants such as viruses, bacteria, and organic and inorganic colloids at a faster rate than conventional filters.

"While the current generation of nanofilters may be relatively simple, it is believed that future generations of nanotechnology-based water treatment devices will capitalize on the properties of new nanoscale materials," the team says.

The researchers point out that several fundamental aspects of nanotechnology have raised concerns among the public and activist groups. They concede that the risks associated with nanomaterials may not be the same as the risks associated with the bulk versions of the same materials because the much greater surface area to volume ratio of nanoparticles can make them more reactive than bulk materials and lead to so far unrecognized and untested interactions with biological surfaces. Water purification based on nanotechnology has not yet led to any human health or environmental problems but the team echoes the sentiment of others that further research into the biological interactions of nanoparticles should be carried out.

"Nanotechnology for water purification" in Nuclear Desalination, 2010, 4, 49-57

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Alpana Mahapatra

Inderscience Publishers

Copyright © Eurekalert

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

JPK talks with Dr Frank Lafont, Director of the BioImaging Center Lille (BICeL) about the use of the NanoWizardŽ AFM together with fluorescence microscopy in the study of living cells June 19th, 2018

Powering the 21st Century with Integrated Photonics: UCSB-Led Team Selected for Demonstration of a Novel Waveguide Platform Which is Transparent Throughout the MWIR and LWIR Spectral Bands June 19th, 2018

Executives Explore Key Megatrends and Innovations in MEMS, Sensors, Imaging Tech at SEMI-MSIG European Summits: Speakers to share developments in smart automotive, smart cities, smart industrial, biomedical, consumer and IoT, September 19-21, 2018 in Grenoble, France June 19th, 2018

Carbon nanotube optics poised to provide pathway to optical-based quantum cryptography and quantum computing: Researchers are exploring enhanced potential of carbon nanotubes for unique applications June 18th, 2018

Nanotubes/Buckyballs/Fullerenes/Nanorods

Nano-saturn: Supramolecular complex formation: Anthracene macrocycle and C60 fullerene June 8th, 2018

Unzipping graphene nanotubes into nanoribbons: New study shows elegant mathematical solution to understand how the flow of electrons changes when carbon nanotubes turn into zigzag nanoribbons June 6th, 2018

Making carbon nanotubes as usable as common plastics: Researchers discover that cresols disperse carbon nanotubes at unprecedentedly high concentrations May 15th, 2018

'Exceptional' research points way toward quantum discoveries: Rice University scientists make tunable light-matter couplings in nanotube films April 30th, 2018

Announcements

JPK talks with Dr Frank Lafont, Director of the BioImaging Center Lille (BICeL) about the use of the NanoWizardŽ AFM together with fluorescence microscopy in the study of living cells June 19th, 2018

Powering the 21st Century with Integrated Photonics: UCSB-Led Team Selected for Demonstration of a Novel Waveguide Platform Which is Transparent Throughout the MWIR and LWIR Spectral Bands June 19th, 2018

Executives Explore Key Megatrends and Innovations in MEMS, Sensors, Imaging Tech at SEMI-MSIG European Summits: Speakers to share developments in smart automotive, smart cities, smart industrial, biomedical, consumer and IoT, September 19-21, 2018 in Grenoble, France June 19th, 2018

Carbon nanotube optics poised to provide pathway to optical-based quantum cryptography and quantum computing: Researchers are exploring enhanced potential of carbon nanotubes for unique applications June 18th, 2018

Interviews/Book Reviews/Essays/Reports/Podcasts/Journals/White papers

Carbon nanotube optics poised to provide pathway to optical-based quantum cryptography and quantum computing: Researchers are exploring enhanced potential of carbon nanotubes for unique applications June 18th, 2018

Camouflaged nanoparticles used to deliver killer protein to cancer June 17th, 2018

Squeezing light at the nanoscale: Ultra-confined light could detect harmful molecules June 17th, 2018

Physicists devise method to reveal how light affects materials: The new method adds to the understanding of the fundamental laws governing the interaction of electrons and light June 15th, 2018

Water

Making quantum puddles: Physicists discover how to create the thinnest liquid films ever June 13th, 2018

Engineered polymer membranes could be new option for water treatment May 6th, 2018

Rice U.'s one-step catalyst turns nitrates into water and air: NSF-funded NEWT Center aims for catalytic converter for nitrate-polluted water January 5th, 2018

A new way to mix oil and water: Condensation-based method developed at MIT could create stable nanoscale emulsions November 8th, 2017

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project