Posts Tagged ‘Water’
(Nanowerk News) Nalco and Keystone Nano, a nanotechnology development company in State College, Pennsylvania, have formed a joint venture company, NanoSpecialties, LLC. The venture will conduct research and development of nanotechnology that allows for more precise application of various Nalco water and process treatments.
Business Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Friday, April 6, 2007
‘World’s first nano-material based water filter’
IIT-Madras is just about to release a water purifier using nanotechnology. “Technology used in the product is the very first and is home-grown. No nanoparticle based water filter exists in the world as of now,” says Dr T. Pradeep, Professor in the Depart ment of Chemistry and Sophisticated Analytical Instrument Facility, Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IITM).
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Demand for Clean Water Drives Advances in Water and Wastewater Treatment
With the rising need for clean water and subsequent increase in generation of wastewater, it has become mandatory to treat wastewater in order to obtain high-quality pure water. Nanotechnology is generally used in areas where there is a need for attacking the molecular level of the substances. “Various forms of nanotechnology such as, nanomembranes and nanoporous zeolites are being used for the treatment of water and wastewater,” according to the analyst of the study. “Though the pace of advancement of nanotechnology has been slow with respect to water and wastewater treatment, industrialists are researching various kinds of nanotechnology to effectively treat water and wastewater.”
The primary motive for wastewater treatment is that less than 1 percent of the world’s water is suitable for drinking while the remaining is brackish. As a result, there is a growing need for fresh and clean water especially for drinking purposes. This escalates the need for technologies that produce high quality water after treatment that do not cause any detrimental effect to human beings or the environment. Utilizing nanotechnology for water and wastewater treatment would certainly make previously unusable water sources such as brackish water, seawater, and other wastewater as an available source of water supply.
Multiple Benefits of Nanotechnology Encourages Widespread Uptake in Water and Wastewater Treatment
The quality of water that is obtained after the adoption of nanotechnology is well within the requirements of agencies such as Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). It has been determined that these nano-based filters are able to achieve 99.95 percent efficiency, when compared to conventional technologies. As a result, the water or effluent that is obtained after the treatment could be reused for various domestic and industrial applications.
Nanotechnology even removes protozoan cysts, oocysts, and helminth ova and in some cases bacteria and viruses from the water. “Nanotechnology also provides more effective alternatives to the treatment of contaminants such as mercury, arsenic, and perchlorate,” explains the analyst. “As the impact of these contaminants on humans is gradually realized, it has become increasingly essential to monitor them at trace levels, which is impossible with conventional treatment methods.”
Scientists have combined two molecules that occur naturally in blood to engineer a molecular complex that uses solar energy to split water into hydrogen and oxygen, says research published today in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.
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New York, Nov 13 2006 12:00PM
African countries suffering or facing water shortages as a result of climate change have a massive potential in rainwater harvesting, with nations like Ethiopia and Kenya capable of meeting the needs of six to seven times their current populations, according to a United Nations report released today.
“The figures are astonishing and will surprise many,” UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Executive Director Achim Steiner said of the study, compiled by his agency and the World Agroforestry Centre, which urges governments and donors to invest more widely in a technology that is low cost, simple to deploy and maintain, and able to transform the lives of households, communities and countries Africa-wide.
Overall the quantity of rain falling across the continent is equivalent to the needs of 9 billion people, one and half times the current global population. About a third of Africa is deemed suitable for rainwater harvesting if a threshold of 200 millimetres of arrival rainfall, considered to be at the lower end of the scale, is used.
Although not all rainfall can or should be harvested for drinking and agricultural uses, with over a third needed to sustain the wider environment including forests, grasslands and healthy river flows, the harvesting potential is still much more than adequate to meet a significant slice of human needs, the report notes.
“Africa is not water scarce,” it concludes. “The rainfall contribution is more than adequate to meet the needs of the current population several times over. For example Kenya would not be categorized as a ‘water stressed country’ if rainwater harvesting is considered. The water crisis in Africa is more of an economic problem from lack of investment, and not a matter of physical scarcity.”
Until recently the importance of such harvesting as a buffer against climate-linked extreme weather has been almost invisible in water planning with countries relying almost exclusively on rivers and underground supplies, the report notes.
Unlike big dams, which collect and store water over large areas, small-scale rainwater harvesting projects lose less water to evaporation because the rain or run-off is collected locally and can be stored in a variety of ways.
“Over the coming years we are going to need a range of measures and technologies to capture water and bolster supplies,” Mr. Steiner said. “Conserving and rehabilitating lakes, wetlands and other freshwater ecosystems will be vital and big dams, if sensibly and sustainably designed and constructed, may be part of the equation too.
“However, large-scale infrastructure can often by-pass the needs of poor and dispersed populations. Widely deployed, rainwater harvesting can act as a buffer against drought events for these people while also significantly supplementing supplies in cities and areas connected to the water grid,” he added.
The report mapped the rainwater harvesting potential of nine countries in Africa –Botswana, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
Kenya, with a population of somewhere under 40 million people, has enough rainfall to supply the needs of six to seven times its current population, according to the study. Ethiopia, where just over a fifth of the population is covered by domestic water supply and an estimated 46 per cent of the population suffer hunger, has a potential rainwater harvest equivalent to the needs of over 520 million people.
For more details go to UN News Centre at http://www.un.org/news
Eye on Israel Link to original article
A business opportunity for you! Israeli nano centers receive 230 million USD of funding:
In addition to matching funds, the Israeli government will also provide over $8 million for nanotech-related equipment purchases and for advanced research projects in water treatment using nanotechnology.The triangle donation matching program will give preference to research in areas considered to have the strongest potential for Israeli breakthroughs: nanomaterials, nanobiotechnology, nanoelectronics, and nanotech for applications in water treatment and alternative energy.
You can download the complete press-release from the Israeli’s National Nanotechnology Initiative here. The map of the Nano-biotech industry is provided by d&a hi-tech information here. A very complete compendium and links to Nano Industries and companies in Israel is available here.
Scientists have developed a simple ‘air shower’ device which, when fitted into existing showerheads, fills the water droplets with a tiny bubble of air. The result is the shower feels just as wet and just as strong as before, but now uses much less water.
The researchers, from CSIRO Manufacturing Materials Technology in Melbourne, say the device increases the volume of the shower stream while reducing the amount of water used by about 30 per cent.
Given the average Australian household uses about 200,000 litres of water a year, and showers account for nearly a third of this, the ‘air shower’ could help the average household save about 15,000-20,000 litres a year. If you extend this across the population, that is an annual saving of more than 45,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools.
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Researchers at the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science today announced they have developed a new reverse osmosis (RO) membrane that promises to reduce the cost of seawater desalination and wastewater reclamation.
Reverse osmosis desalination uses extremely high pressure to force saline or polluted waters through the pores of a semi-permeable membrane. Water molecules under pressure pass through these pores, but salt ions and other impurities cannot, resulting in highly purified water.
The new membrane, developed by civil and environmental engineering assistant professor Eric Hoek and his research team, uses a uniquely cross-linked matrix of polymers and engineered nanoparticles designed to draw in water ions but repel nearly all contaminants. These new membranes are structured at the nanoscale (the width of human hair is approximately 100,000 nanometers) to create molecular tunnels through which water flows more easily than contaminants.
Unlike the current class of commercial RO membranes, which simply filter water through a dense polymer film, Hoek’s membrane contains specially synthesized nanoparticles dispersed throughout the polymer — known as a nanocomposite material.
“The nanoparticles are designed to attract water and are highly porous, soaking up water like a sponge, while repelling dissolved salts and other impurities,” Hoek said. “The water-loving nanoparticles embedded in our membrane also repel organics and bacteria, which tend to clog up conventional membranes over time.”
With these improvements, less energy is needed to pump water through the membranes. Because they repel particles that might ordinarily stick to the surface, the new membranes foul more slowly than conventional ones. The result is a water purification process that is just as effective as current methods but more energy efficient and potentially much less expensive. Initial tests suggest the new membranes have up to twice the productivity — or consume 50 percent less energy — reducing the total expense of desalinated water by as much as 25 percent.
“The need for a sustainable, affordable supply of clean water is a key priority for our nation’s future and especially for that of California — the fifth largest economy in the world,” Hoek said. “It is essential that we reduce the overall cost of desalination — including energy demand and
environmental issues — before a major draught occurs and we lack the ability to efficiently and effectively increase our water supply.”
A critical limitation of current RO membranes is that they are easily fouled — bacteria and other particles build up on the surface and clog it. This fouling results in higher energy demands on the pumping system and leads to costly cleanup and replacement of membranes. Viable alternative desalination technologies are few, though population growth, over-consumption and pollution of the available fresh water supply make desalination and water reuse ever more attractive alternatives.
With his new membrane, Hoek hopes to address the key challenges that limit more widespread use of RO membrane technology by making the process more robust and efficient.
“I think the biggest mistake we can make in the field of water treatment is to assume that reverse osmosis technology is mature and that there is nothing more to be gained from fundamental research,” Hoek said. “We still have a long way to go to fully explore and develop this technology, especially with the exciting new materials that can be created through nanotechnology.
Hoek is working with NanoH2O, LLP, an early-stage partnership, to develop his patent-pending nanocomposite membrane technology into a new class of low-energy, fouling-resistant membranes for desalination and water reuse. He anticipates the new membranes will be commercially available within the next year or two.
“We as a nation thought we had enough water, so a decision was made in the 1970s to stop funding desalination research,” Hoek said. “Now, 30 years later, there is renewed interest because we realize that not only are we running out of fresh water, but the current technology is limited, we lack implementation experience and we are running out of time. I hope the discovery of new nanotechnologies like our membrane will continue to generate interest in desalination research at both fundamental and applied levels.”
The first viable reverse osmosis membrane was developed and patented by UCLA Engineering researchers in the 1960s.
The school also is home to the Water Technology Research Center, founded in 2005, which seeks to advance the state of desalination technology and to train the next generation of desalination experts. Hoek co-founded the center with UCLA chemical engineering professor and center director Yoram Cohen. Hoek also collaborates with UCLA’s California NanoSystems Institute.
(Nanowerk News) A £1.9m EU-backed partnership project aims to demonstrate that solar disinfection (SODIS) of drinking water is an effective way of preventing water-borne diseases – especially important in developing countries, where safe drinking water is often a precious rarity.
The University of Ulster is a leading partner in the research, and University’s Photocatalysis Research Group, headed by Dr Tony Byrne, will be responsible for developing SODIS enhancement technologies.
More than one billion people lack access to safe drinking water. SODIS is a low-tech, safe and affordable method to improve water quality. It involves placing contaminated water into transparent bottles, which are then placed in direct sunshine for 6 hours. SODIS is approved by the World Health Organisation and recently proved to be effective in the aftermath of the tsunami disaster in Southeast Asia in 2004.
Dr Byrne, who is Principal Investigator at the University of Ulster, said: “Simply exposing contaminated water to sunlight is an effective method for reducing the incidence of many water-borne diseases such as cholera, dysentery or polio. It can be used in places where people have no access to safe drinking water. Furthermore, our research has shown that the solar disinfection process can be greatly enhanced using photocatalytic materials, with no major additional cost.”
The multi-disciplinary team will investigate the health benefits of using solar disinfected drinking water in developing countries; the factors that influence communities to adopt or reject SODIS; whether the basic SODIS technique can be improved using simple technologies; whether any major water-borne diseases are not susceptible to SODIS.
Dr Patrick Dunlop, Research Fellow on the project, said: “This exciting project gives us the opportunity to use nanotechnology in a very practical way that could help save lives in the developing world.”
Source: University of Ulster
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By Audrey Hudson| Also by this reporter
02:00 AM Oct, 06, 2006
A company that developed technology capable of creating water out of thin air nearly anywhere in the world is now under contract to nourish U.S. soldiers serving in Iraq.
The water-harvesting technology was originally the brainchild of the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, which sought ways to ensure sustainable water supplies for U.S. combat troops deployed in arid regions like Iraq.
“The program focused on creating water from the atmosphere using low-energy systems that could reduce the overall logistics burden for deployed forces and provide potable water within the reach of the war fighter any place, any time,” said Darpa spokeswoman Jan Walker.
To achieve this end, Darpa gave millions to research companies like LexCarb and Sciperio to create a contraption that could capture water in the Mesopotamian desert.
But it was another company, Aqua Sciences, that developed a product on its own and was first to put a product on the market that can operate in harsh climates.
“People have been trying to figure out how to do this for years, and we just came out of left field in response to Darpa,” said Abe Sher, chief executive officer of Aqua Sciences. “The atmosphere is a river full of water, even in the desert. It won’t work absolutely everywhere, but it works virtually everywhere.”
Sher said he is “not at liberty” to disclose details of the government contracts, except that Aqua Sciences won two highly competitive bids with “some very sophisticated companies.”
He also declined to comment on how the technology actually works.
“This is our secret sauce,” Sher said. “Like Kentucky Fried Chicken, it tastes good, but we won’t tell you what’s in it.”
He did, however, provide a hint: Think of rice used in saltshakers that acts as a magnet to extract water and keeps salt from clumping.
“We figured out how to tap it in a very unique and proprietary way,” Sher said. “We figured out how to mimic nature, using natural salt to extract water and act as a natural decontamination.
“Think of the Dead Sea, where nothing grows around it because the salt dehydrates everything. It’s kind of like that.”
The 20-foot machine can churn out 600 gallons of water a day without using or producing toxic materials and byproducts. The machine was displayed on Capitol Hill last week where a half-dozen lawmakers and some staffers stopped by for a drink.
“It was very interesting to see the technology in action and learn about its possible implementation in natural disasters,” said Rep. E. Clay Shaw Jr., a Republican from Florida whose hurricane-prone district includes Fort Lauderdale.
“It was delicious,” Shaw said.
Jason Rowe, chief of staff to Rep. Tom Feeney, another Florida Republican, called the technology “pretty impressive.”
“I was pretty blown away by the things it’s able to do,” Rowe said. “The fact that this technology is not tied to humidity like others are makes it an attractive alternative for military bases in the Mideast where humidity is not really an option.
“It seems like it’s a cheaper alternative to trucking in bottled water, which has a shelf life,” said Rowe, who described himself as a fiscal hawk.
Once deployed, the machines could reduce the cost of logistical support for supplying water to the troops in Iraq by billions of dollars, said Stuart Roy, spokesman of the DCI Group, Aqua Sciences’ public affairs firm.
The cost to transport water by C-17 cargo planes, then truck it to the troops, runs $30 a gallon. The cost, including the machines from Aqua Sciences, will be reduced to 30 cents a gallon, Roy said.
Several systems on the market can create water through condensation, but the process requires a high level of humidity.
Aqua Sciences’ machines only require 14 percent humidity, Roy said. “That’s why this technology is superior and why they are getting the contracts.”
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