Thursday, February 24, 2011

Low-cost filter to provide safe water in emergency

Sify News: McGill researchers have come up with a new and inexpensive way of filtering water using silver nanoparticles. Disasters such as floods, tsunamis, and earthquakes often result in the spread of diseases like gastroenteritis, giardiasis and even cholera because of an immediate shortage of clean drinking water.

Now, researchers at McGill University have taken a key step towards making a cheap, portable, paper-based filter coated with silver nanoparticles to be used in these emergency settings.

…Gray's team, which included graduate student Theresa Dankovich, coated thick (0.5mm) hand-sized sheets of an absorbent porous paper with silver nanoparticles and then poured live bacteria through it. The results were definitive. Even when the paper contains a small quantity of silver (5.9 mg of silver per dry gram of paper), the filter is able to kill nearly all the bacteria and produce water that meets the standards set by the American Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)….

Detail of sterling silver "Melrose" pattern bowl by Gorham Manufacturing Company. GFDL permission granted by: Stan Skwarek - Cobblestone Antiques - Arlington Heights, IL 60004 - via email Aug 11, 2006. Image originally taken by him for eBay auction. under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

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