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IISc develops new water purification method

Bengaluru, Oct 04, 2016, DHNS 2:02 IST

It replaces UV light in existing tools with visible light, to kill bacteria

 This could replace the existing methods of killing such bacteria by boiling or using UV (ultraviolet) light, which are both expensive and energy-intensive. dh file photo
Scientists from the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) have developed a technique of using light to kill bacteria that causes water-borne infections.

This could replace the existing methods of killing such bacteria by boiling or using UV (ultraviolet) light, which are both expensive and energy-intensive.

According to a press release from IISc, the team of scientists headed by Prof Jayant Modak, deputy director, along with a professor from the department of chemical engineering, has created a new type of photocatalyst (a material that speeds up the chemical reaction). The new technique replaces the conventional photocatalysts that are activated using UV light with visible light-assisted photocatalysts.

A paper on the new method to purify water was published in the journal of the Royal Society of Chemistry.

While a lot of work still needs to be done to translate this study into practical applications, it highlights the potential to use visible light as an antimicrobial agent.

The release highlighted that despite pure drinking water being universally considered as a basic human right, nations have struggled to provide it to citizens.

One of the main reasons behind this inability is the cost of water purification.

Conventional methods are often expensive and their implementation requires a very large area.

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