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Home > Nanotechnology Columns > > Siberia- born technology of drinking water protection

Eugene Birger
Principal Analyst

AquaVallis is a new nanofiber-based electropositive filter material that allows water purification by removing viruses and bacteria of size many times smaller than the average pore size of the filter.

May 18th, 2011

Siberia- born technology of drinking water protection

According to the World Health Organization data, 80 % of all infectious diseases in the world are caused by unsatisfactory quality of water or poor hygiene and sanitary conditions due to its shortage. The ever-increasing deficiency in water supply will aggravate the problem and its ubiquity will lead to stable high growth of demand for water purifying devices and facilities. Recent trends in increasing the efficiency of water purification from microorganisms and other negatively charged particles have been toward the use of charge-modified filters.

The key principle of the action of the AquaVallis filter material developed at ISPMS SB RAS: is based on removal of any pathogenic germs (viruses, bacteria) through sorption and filtration on retention of high material porosity and hence high liquid flow rate (0.2-1.0 cm/s). The novelty of the filter material consists in high-speed filtration of water with complete removal (similar to microfiltration) of pathogenic germs (viruses, bacteria) of size many times smaller than the average pore size of the polymeric fiber on retention of natural water mineralization. The AquaVallis filter material holds promise for production of individual water purifiers and cartridges of water treatment systems.

Modern nonwoven fiber filters, as a rule, have a pore size of about 1 mm and more. For filtration of microorganisms and colloids of size less than 0.1 mm, membrane filters are used. Membrane filters operate on the principle of conformity between the pore size and the contaminant size and can retain all types of bacteria with a high retention coefficient (99.99 %); however, they are incapable of retaining smaller particles, in particular viruses of about 0.03 mm. The capacity of membrane filters has a direct relation to the pore size, i.e., the smaller the pores, the lower the filter capacity.

Scientific research institution - Institute of Strength Physics and Materials Science of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences (ISPMS SB RAS) was founded in 1984. The institute is one of the leading Siberian research institutions involved in materials science, design and development of advanced materials, including nanomaterials and related products.
Main line of fundamental research - the physical mesomechanics of materials and nanotechnology. Other lines of activity include:

•physical mesomechanics of heterogeneous media;
•nanostructured bulk and nanosized materials, nanostructured surface layers, thin films and coatings;
•advanced materials based on metals, ceramics and polymers;
•computer-aided design of new materials and technology of their production;
•fundamentals of hardening and surface treatment technology;
•non-destructive testing;
•engineering of custom-made equipment and technology for research, diagnostics and industry.

The Institute is the founder of the international Physical Mesomechanics journal published in Russian and English.

Aqvelite Company: is a rapidly developing innovative company that specializes in the development of effective solutions and novel approaches to drinking water protection against microbial contamination. Company products:
•Filtering materials AquaVallis that provide 100 % efficiency of drinking water purification from microbiological contaminants (bacteria, viruses, parasites, protozoa, microscopic algae and fungi).
•Replaceable filtering elements AquaVallis for effective protection of drinking water from microbial contamination with high flow rate.
•Pipeline water purifiers intended for cold tap water purification from microbial contaminants.
•Stand-alone running water purifiers used for microbiological purification of water from local sources (wells, reservoirs, ponds) in gardens, cottages, countryside, regions of emergency situations and other).

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