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IIT Madras devise wonder water filter

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Dr. N. Subramanian
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PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2013 5:18 pm    Post subject: IIT Madras devise wonder water filter Reply with quote

Bright lights of IIT Madras devise wonder water filter      
Research team:(L,1st row)Amrita, Shihab, Sahaja,Udhaya, Anshup, Pradeep, Anil Kumar & Kamalesh.



At a time when a bottle of clean water can cost you anything from Rs.20 to Rs.50 depending on the brand, Indian scientists have developed a technology that can supply water free from bacteria, virus and even heavy metals just for five paisa per litre.

Researchers from the Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IITM) have developed a nanomaterial-based water purifier that can provide water meeting international norms of water quality and that too at affordable price.

The technique has been described in a paper published in international scientific journal the Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) on Monday.

The domestic version of the purifier will cost about Rs.500 and the replacement cartridge will cost about Rs.120 rupees a year. "If everything goes well, the filter could be useful in achieving the UN millennium development goal of doubling the number of people with sustainable access to safe drinking water by 2015", Thalappil Pradeep of Department of Chemistry at IITM, who led the team of researchers, said.

In a two-stage purification process, the purifier first removes microbial contaminants and then other contaminants such as arsenic and lead. Microbes are killed by a very tiny concentration of silver ions, at 50 parts per billion, released from silver nanoparticles. Chemical contamination such as arsenic, lead, iron and others are removed by a range of nanomaterials which selectively remove each of them, researchers explained.

The water thus purified has been found to be safe as silver released in the process is far below the acceptable norm 100 parts per billion of silver in water. Silver ions are known to kill bacteria and viruses. However, they could not be used so far because the energetic surface of nanoparticles get coated with contaminants present in natural water. The IIT team lead by Pradeep created new composite structures in which silver nanoparticles are trapped in composite cages made of clay like materials.

Pradeep had discovered in 2003 that pesticides in water can be broken with silver nanoparticles. He has used this technique along with new materials called biopolymers for development of the new water filter.

Read more at: http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/iit-madras-students-devise-wonder-water-filter/1/269623.html

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