June 19, 2024

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Drinking through a… powder?

Drinking through a… powder?

American scientists have developed a non-toxic powder that, in contact with sunlight, completely disinfects water. Ultimately, this will become a practical solution for many people who do not have access to drinking water on a daily basis.

Researchers from Stanford University and SLAC Labs, under the auspices of the US Department of Energy, are developing this groundbreaking solution. It takes the form of a non-toxic powder which, when exposed to sunlight, disinfects the water and makes it completely drinkable.

Made up of nanoscale flakes of aluminum oxide, molybdenum sulfide, copper and iron oxide, the powder is capable of killing thousands of bacteria per second when exposed to sunlight.

So the objective here is to disinfect water very quickly and effortlessly, these materials are relatively cheap and above all very abundant. What’s really innovative is the cataclysmic action with which they relate to each other. This non-toxic process competes with other sometimes more difficult solutions, such as water treatments based on chemical substances, ultraviolet light, which are sometimes very dangerous.

To demonstrate the effects of this solution, scientists tested it on a water sample contaminated with one million E. coli bacteria per milliliter. The test took place in direct sunlight and once the powder was diluted, it took only 60 seconds to detect live bacteria. If the oxidizing bacteria were not found immediately, the various components of this dust would decompose into water and oxygen and be removed within seconds. Note that chemical by-products formed by sunlight also dissolve very quickly. So you can drink the water safely.

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After. The researchers plan to test the new powder on other pathogens, including E. coli, viruses and parasites that cause serious diseases. If such a solution could one day be developed on a large scale, starting with water treatment plants, it would be a revolutionary breakthrough. Currently, it is estimated that more than two billion people in the world do not have access to drinking water.

The results of their preliminary study were published Natural water.