Xing Xie - LEEFT with Nano for Water Disinfection
From Katie Gentilello
Water is a basic human need. Nevertheless, more than 10% of the world’s population lacks access to safe drinking water. An effective water disinfection method is still not readily accessible to these people. In developed urban areas, water is typically disinfected in a centralized facility through chlorine-based methods that inevitably generates harmful disinfection byproducts. In addition, current water disinfection systems are vulnerable to natural disasters. Next-generation water disinfection should minimize the use of chemicals, the consumption of energy, and the impact on the environment, while having high resilience for different application scenarios. The recently developed water disinfection approach based on locally enhanced electric field treatment (LEEFT) has a great potential to transform current water disinfection strategies and systems. The LEEFT is a physical treatment process that aims to utilize a strong electric field to disrupt cell membranes and thus inactivate pathogens. The electrodes installed in a LEEFT device are typically modified with one-dimensional nanostructures, such that the electric field is greatly enhanced locally near the tips of the nanostructures. LEEFT can potentially be applicable at all scales, from portable devices to point-of-use household units and from distributed community-scale treatment clusters to centralized treatment plants. This talk will cover the recent progress on the development of the LEEFT technology.