A Radical Way to Kill 99.9% of Bacteria in Drinking Water Using Nothing but Sunlight

By: | March 4th, 2019

Image courtesy Wikimedia

Researchers’ from China have invented a new way to purify water that is highly efficient and environmentally friendly.

Photo catalyst disinfection:

Team led by Professor Wang Dan of the Institute of Process Engineering purified water using graphitic carbon nitride sheets. By shining ultraviolet light onto these sheets, the team’s prototype can purify water. This technique for water cleaning is known as photo catalytic disinfection.

Their prototype disinfected the pathogen-rich water in 30 min with a disinfection efficiency of over 99.9999% under visible-light irradiation, which meets the requirement for drinking water. It can purify 10 liters (2.6 liquid gallons) of water in just one hour.

Science behind: Nanosheets of graphitic carbon nitride, which researchers used has right electronic properties to absorb the light and generate reactive oxygen. The configuration of this material helped to generate plenty of hydrogen peroxide, which efficiently kills bacteria by oxidizing their cell walls and wreaking havoc on their chemical structures.

Unlike present day water filtration systems, like chlorination or ozone disinfection, this new technique is eco-friendly.  

According to Professor Wang Dan, “The future application of photocatalytic disinfection technology can significantly relieve clean-water scarcity and global energy shortage,”

Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

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