Posts tagged ‘nanotechnology’

February 24, 2012

Nano Tea Bag for Cleaner Water

As access to clean fresh water is getting more difficult day by day, there are already numerous ideas on how to solve this issue. One new approach uses nanotechnology, which may provide a 21st century solution for cleaning fresh water.

Nanotechnology itself should be imagined at a tiny level: one nanometre is a billionth of a metre, meaning it is about 40,000 times smaller than the width of a human hair.

It is suggested to be applied in three areas: at “water treatment and remediation, sensing and detection, and pollution prevention”, according to Professor Eugene Cloete from the University of Pretoria, South Africa.

Nano-membranes can help at water filtering, while specially developed nanomaterials can support remediation and also work at the disinfection of water. Also, nanoscale titanium dioxide (TiO2) could be applied to remove arsenic from water.

One solution used for water treatment are carbon nanotubes. These are one-atom thick cylindrical carbon sheets, which could be applied at desalination and also at water purification. Thanks to their large surface compared to their size, their capacity could be enormous, and they may even be ideal for filtering out water-soluble drugs.

The most recent innovative example is the “nano tea bag” with special nano-fibres that filter contaminants from the water, and contains activated carbon aimed at killing bacteria. Developed by South African scientists, this is a great opportunity and affordable solution for communities, where clean fresh water is scarce. Used by placing it in the neck of a bottle, it provides a capacity of up to one litre – even with heavy contamination levels.

Nano Tea Bag

New uses for Nanotechnology are spreading further every day and amongst its many opportunities, water treatment and cleaning could be one – which could make a real difference to the lives of millions of people.

Written for the Energy Saving Warehouse

Image: BBC Online

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