Nanotechnology and Water Filters

Several companies are developing nanotechnology-based filters that will clean polluted water. The filters in the treatment system can sift out bacteria, viruses, heavy metals, and organic material.

One filter product consists of spiral-wound layers of fiberglass sheets. The sheets create a permeable surface of nano-sized pores—a bit-like a nanoscale strainer. When pressure is exerted, the water pushes through the pores keeping out viruses and bacteria that are too large to go through the pores.

In Australia, one company has patented a water treatment technology that uses nanoparticles for water purification. The product called Meso-Lite has been tested in several countries. The treatment can be used to remove ammonia from contaminated wastewaters. Once the ammonia has been extracted in the treatment stage, the leftover ammonia can be recycled and used as a commercial fertilizer. The MesoLite process can also be used as a backup system to support large wastewater treatment plants.

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