science tech materials clean_water crowdfunding developing_world polymers public_health drinking_water
Polymer Filter Quickly Makes Water Safe To Drink

image

by Michael Keller

It’s a thirsty world out there. But with much of the globe’s drinking supply unimproved by treatment systems that can remove animal waste, bacteria, viruses, and chemicals, a clean sip of water is too often a luxury. 

Many researchers and inventors are looking for cheaper and faster ways to get clean drinking water to people who lack it. On the industrial scale, people are refining filtration membranes by using advanced materials like graphene to make more efficient potable water supplies. Others are using architecture to make rain-harvesting buildings. For individuals, one designer has made a solar power distiller to turn saltwater fresh. These are just a few examples of a lot of brainpower going in to help around 780 million people who have limited access to clean water.

Now a Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETHZ) team says they have developed a novel personal filtration tool that will contribute to the solution. Using a three-stage system that includes an advanced polymer membrane, they say the device, called DrinkPure, works so quickly that it can filter up to a liter of water a minute.

Read More

166
166 notes
https://www.tumblr.com/reblog/93135974895/XPCWxtlC
Permalink
text
science tech supercomputers graphene clean_water desalination reverse_osmosis saltwater ocean

Supercomputer Says Material Could Filter Water 100 Times Faster
Graphene’s potential to make saltwater drinkable might just match the hype the supermaterial has been garnering, researchers say.
The material, which is composed of linked carbon atoms that look like chicken-wire fencing, forms sheets so thin they are considered two-dimensional.
Researchers in many disciplines have been investigating it because it is extremely tough, offers tunable electromagnetic properties and doesn’t decompose in water, among others. When punched with precise nanoscopic holes, it is so thin that it quickly lets water molecules through while blocking things like salt ions. [[MORE]]
This permeability would be a major step forward for needed water desalination and purification technologies, which currently rely upon slow and energy-intensive processes like reverse osmosis (RO). 
RO works by pushing water through semipermeable membranes that block salt and impurities. Investigators say that 40 percent of the world’s desalination capacity is built upon RO systems. 
“One big problem for desalination is speed — how much water can you push through per day,” said Vincent Meunier, a physics, information technology and entrepreneurship professor at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. “You can have a great membrane material but if you can treat only a cup of water a day, that’s not going to be useful or cost-effective.”
Meunier and colleagues at RPI and Oak Ridge National Lab have used a supercomputer to simulate the optimal configuration of a hybrid material called graphene oxide, which links together separate sheets to make a better filter. They found that with the right combinations of layer thickness, pressure put on the water and other factors they could make a graphene oxide membrane that could filter water up to 100 times faster than RO.
They found that it could be tuned to selectively filter other contaminants like bacteria. Because it is abundant and inexpensive, using graphene oxide instead of pure graphene might also lower the cost of desalination.
“We believe it’s scalable, that the chemical engineering industry could potentially produce it in bulk,” said ORNL physical chemist Bobby Sumpter in a statement. “It’s an exciting material with potential for numerous applications.”
The team’s latest results were published in March in the journal Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics. 
Top Image: Simulations by Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute reveal the potential of graphene oxide frameworks, pictured in black, to remove contaminants such as salt ions, seen in blue and green, from water. Image courtesy Adrien Nicolaï/RPI.

Supercomputer Says Material Could Filter Water 100 Times Faster

Graphene’s potential to make saltwater drinkable might just match the hype the supermaterial has been garnering, researchers say.

The material, which is composed of linked carbon atoms that look like chicken-wire fencing, forms sheets so thin they are considered two-dimensional.

Researchers in many disciplines have been investigating it because it is extremely tough, offers tunable electromagnetic properties and doesn’t decompose in water, among others. When punched with precise nanoscopic holes, it is so thin that it quickly lets water molecules through while blocking things like salt ions. 

Read More

264
264 notes
https://www.tumblr.com/reblog/84143891260/z1LckGY3
Permalink
photo
science tech clean_water desalination graphene materials energy_efficient_design sustainability public_health
New Membranes Key For A Thirsty World

image

by Michael Keller

Nature often plays a mean trick on thirsty people. Unless you’re stranded in the desert, there’s often water, water everywhere, yet nary a drop to drink.

The problem isn’t ever the water itself, but the things suspended in it. The grit, organic matter and larger particles are just the start of the problem. In even the clearest running streams, disease-causing microbes, industrial compounds or naturally occurring arsenic can pose serious health risks.

Then there’s nature’s biggest barb—more than 97 percent of the water on Earth is too salty to drink. Whether it’s seawater or saline groundwater, imbibing salt causes the body to dehydrate and start shutting down.

Significantly less than one percent of the planet’s total supply of water is available fresh water for the 7.2 billion people living today, the animals and the wild and crop plants. While that supply stays about the same over time, our growing, urbanizing population and expanding industrial footprint means ever more demand. Societies around the world must deal with freshwater scarcity every day—the UN says some 1.2 billion people live where water is physically scarce.

Yet with saltwater all around, the answer to the problem has always seemed so close.

Read More

72
72 notes
https://www.tumblr.com/reblog/83733977005/V3RxLeh7
Permalink
text
science tech medicine hiv clean_water filter fitness jobs employment electronics
Txch This Week: Cleaner Water And New HIV Breakthroughs

by Norman Rozenberg

This week on Txchnologist, we explored inventions and discoveries that have the potential to improve myriad lives. First, our correspondent talked to researchers who have engineered growth factors that speed the wound-healing process.

The quest to design better water filters continues. MIT researchers have created an efficient nanofilter by poking tiny holes in atom-thick graphene. Their results appear to be dramatically better than the traditional carbon water filters available on the market. 

This week we also learned about new generators that produce energy from the smallest motions. The generator harvests the same kind of static electricity that you produce by shuffling across the carpet.  

A California-based startup called Lift Labs has engineered a stabilizing platform for utensils that helps people with tremors to eat without frustration or embarrassment.

Our hearts melted when we watched 12-year-old Peyton Robertson describe his Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Education award-winning experiment. He used the scientific method come up with an innovative solution defending against floods.

Now we’re bringing you the news and trends we’ve been following this week in the world of science, technology and innovation. 

Read More

53
53 notes
https://www.tumblr.com/reblog/78861420854/T37HFJmy
Permalink
text

LATEST