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LED Could Be Used to Purify Water in Remote Areas

Nov 22, 2016 09:47 AM EST
Scientists Discover Better Way to Purify Water in Remote Areas
The availability of clean, potable water is a major problem in remote areas all over the world.
(Photo : Getty Images)

The availability of clean, potable water is a major problem in remote areas all over the world. Humanitarian organizations and rescue groups have continuously lobbied for the need of a water purifying system that could provide constant water supply to these areas and even those affected by a calamity.

Interestingly, a study published in has introduced a new technique to clean water in remote areas. Engineers at the Ohio State University have created a light-emitting diode (LED) foil that uses portable ultraviolet light to purify water and sterilize equipment. The LEDs are created on a lightweight and flexible metal foil which could be easily carried around. These LEDs will be used to release high-energy UV.

UV technology is already used by many industries and organizations worldwide for various applications. In fact, UV lamps are normally used in public drinking stations as well as in large water purifying stations. However, it is important to note that these equipment are very difficult to carry around, and some are not portable at all. Because of this, scientists have continuously searched for ways to help humanitarian organizations, soldiers, and rescue personnel to carry around portable UV lamps to provide purified water for those in need.

This recently developed metal foil uses the concept of nanophotonics or nano-optics, which studies the interaction of tiny objects with light. It also studies that behavior of light in very small scales. The researchers have developed a technique to weave a "carpet of tightly packed aluminum gallium nitride" into nano-pieces of metal foil. They have tested these nanowires for it to light up brighter and produce enough UV to purify water. The UV light produced by this small foil will not be of intense quantities that could bring harm to people and the surroundings.

Scientists have explored on the portability and efficiency of LEDs to provide just what they need. According to the study, UV LEDs are not only portable; they are also safe to carry and very cheap, which could make its manufacturing a breeze.

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