We have developed a novel water treatment technology at the Flexible Electronics Lab, Department of Instrumentation and Applied Physics, Indian Institute of Science. The technology can generate potable water from wastewater with almost no water wastage and by consuming very little energy.

The technology is different from existing water filtration techniques, as it does not require fine feature fabrication, membranes, or chemicals. The power requirement for the filtration of 1 litre of very poor quality water about milli Watts. This makes it easy to build and very environmentally friendly. The cost to build and the energy required are expected to scale almost linearly with throughput.

The filtration is performed by application of electric fields resulting in tiny (sub-micron size) impurities being polarized. These polarized impurities experience attractive forces resulting in their clustering. The large impurity clusters are thereafter easily removed by use of low cost meshes that ...
We have developed a novel water treatment technology at the Flexible Electronics Lab, Department of Instrumentation and Applied Physics, Indian Institute of Science. The technology can generate potable water from wastewater with almost no water wastage and by consuming very little energy.

The technology is different from existing water filtration techniques, as it does not require fine feature fabrication, membranes, or chemicals. The power requirement for the filtration of 1 litre of very poor quality water about milli Watts. This makes it easy to build and very environmentally friendly. The cost to build and the energy required are expected to scale almost linearly with throughput.

The filtration is performed by application of electric fields resulting in tiny (sub-micron size) impurities being polarized. These polarized impurities experience attractive forces resulting in their clustering. The large impurity clusters are thereafter easily removed by use of low cost meshes that can be washed and reused if needed.

Since the system does not use membranes that need to be regularly replaced, the technology could benefit people in remote areas as well as complement existing technologies. The plan is to:

(1) build small hand-held water bottle operated by a hand-crank, battery or solar cell for individuals to use. People in remote areas can purify any local source of water for their own consumption without having to depend on a centralized facility. People in disaster hit areas, travelers, and armed forces could benefit from this.

(2) build larger community based water treatment system where the hassles of regular replacement of membranes or disposal of chemicals is avoided.

(3) The system can also be a friend to membrane technologies where it can be used to make wastewater clean enough so as to increase the lifetime of membranes. This would reduce costs and encourage the practice of waste-water treatment in apartments and communities.
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