A group of researchers from the University of Texas at Austin developed a portable device that can purify contaminated water using the electricity supplied by a battery.
The invention is intended to provide communities dealing with a degraded water supply due to severe weather disturbances with access to safe drinking water.
According to an associate professor at the Cockrell School of Engineering, D. Emma Fan (who served as the project’s leader), people need point-of-use devices for cleaning water that they can get out of ponds, streams, or rivers when the water infrastructure is down, and there is no gas, and there is no electricity.
She said the team is sure that their product will one day be able to satisfy that need.
The researchers cleaned tiny samples of water taken from a stream in Austin using a prototype of the device produced using 3D printing technology.
Experiments showed that the gadget successfully removed 99.997% of E. coli germs in around 20 minutes from the water.
The water is purified utilizing the power of electricity. Once filled, the water electricity is passed via a foam-encased electrode.
Because E. coli cells are drawn in by the electric field and swim into the branches of the electrodes, the water is purified and is safe to drink.
Although it only takes approximately twenty minutes to clean the water, the study team claims that the gadget can work nonstop for a significant amount of time.
When powering it, users can choose between solar panels and batteries, such as those used in cars.
Alternate energy sources make it possible to continue using the cleaner even when the power is off, a common occurrence in areas that experience severe weather.
In addition, the researchers found that the device is more cost-effective in comparison to several other methods of water filtration, with the electrode being made at a cost of less than $2.
The researchers are presently investigating potential avenues for making the device available to the public, and they want also to improve the design of the cup.
In addition to this, they want to make the process of inserting and removing the electrodes as simple as possible.