Clean water filtered with nanotechnology

When I started this blog last December and crafted my “About” page, I described some of the observations which I’d be blogging on and nanotechnology was (and is) a highly intriguing technology to me. I’m always interested when I see any results that demonstrate manipulation and creation occurring at the molecular level. I hadn’t written about nanotech yet since there were so many other compelling items on my radar screen.

But tonight there was one specific application (using nanotechnology to filter water) that I stumbled across and it sparked my interest in writing about it. This topic also ties directly in to my post a few days ago (Could Water be the Oil of the 21st Century?) as it holds the promise of a solution to the scarcity of this precious resource.

There was a conference last September and an organization called NanoWater looking at ways to accelerate and create breakthrough filtering technologies to help solve one of the world’s most vexing problems: too many people…not enough clean water.

According to NanoWater.org’s ‘about’ page, there are attractive spinoff incentives (fuel cells, batteries, textiles, pharmaceuticals) for companies to apply nanotechnology expertise to this problem which may be enough to kickstart investment and human energy applied toward this global problem.

There is a balanced and insightful article in Wired magazine about this topic too. According to the article, one company’s filtration product, “…create(s) a permeable surface of nano-sized pores. When
pressure is exerted, water pushes through the pores but viruses and bacteria do not pass through
.”

It continues, “The same technology is allowing desalination — the process of removing salts from fresh or sea water — to occur at a much greater rate. The largest desalination plant in the world will begin operating in Ashkelon, Israel, in March 2005. Israel consumes 400 million cubic meters per year more water than it has…” which means they have quite a compelling reason to focus on this promising technological fix.

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About Steve Borsch

Strategist. Learner. Idea Guy. Salesman. Connector of Dots. Friend. Husband & Dad. CEO. Janitor. More here.

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