Blog post: New Sweet Discovery in Water Filters

water filter

Clean water is a fundamental need.  Clean water is needed for drinking cooking and for keeping our bodies clean.  But more than 1 billion people around the world lack access to clean water, and the problem is growing.  With this in mind, scientists at Cornell University are working on a polymer material that can be used as a filter material for removing hazardous contaminants from water.  If it works as planned it will be cheaper and easier to use than the activated charcoal that is presently used in faucet filters.  One of the contaminants that this new material will be able to remove from water organic molecules is Bisphenol A (BPA).  Bisphenol A is a by-product of plastic manufacturing that has been linked to many health issues.

This new material was developed by a group of organic chemist at Cornell University.  They developed a polymer material based on sugar molecules that was tested by running a sample of BPA-contaminated water through the porous polymer.  This contaminated water was also run through activated charcoal and other filtration systems for a side by side comparison.  It was determined that the new polymer material was able to absorb 95% in just 10 seconds while the other materials took more than 30 minutes to do so.  The new material is also very inexpensive to make in comparison to other filtration materials.  A final advantage is that the new material is easier to clean than the activated charcoal filter that must be heated to liberate any contaminants present.  The new polymer can be cleaned easily by washing the filter with methanol.

Bisphenol A and other organic compounds that are contaminating water supplies are the cause of many health issues and can affect the brain development and growth of children.  The researchers at Cornell are hoping that this new material can eventually be useful not just in commercial water filters, but industrial ones as well, especially in the developing world and that they will aid in improving water supplies across the globe.

Read more at:  Water Filter



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