Could Nanotechnology Help Purify Your Water?

CMU scientists at work

A project jointly undertaken by a group of Central Michigan University researchers and Dendritic Nanotechnologies Inc. has resulted in the creation of a groundbreaking new technology that can absorb toxic chemicals from ground water — a technology that could soon find its way into water purification systems. The partnership was recently granted a contract from the U.S. Department of Defense to refine the method using Dendritic Nanotechnologies' Priostar dendrimer-based nanotechnology. Dendrimers are spheroid or globular structures engineered to carry specific molecules in their interior empty spaces or on their surface.

The primary target for the purification system will be perchlorate — a groundwater contaminant found in several regions of the U.S. — which has been found to adversely affect the health of women by interfering with iodide absorption in the thyroid gland. Once brought over to the public sector, researchers believe it will also prove effective at removing and recovering metals such as chromium and lead and contaminants such as arsenic from groundwater. Company and university officials expect the system to be launched commercially in September 2008, with manufacturing, sales and technical support to be housed in CMU.

"Not only will this technology serve the legislative and environmental requirements of the U.S. Department of Defense in a cost effective manner, it will easily transition into the public sector. The economic need for a water remediation and recovery system that is cost effective, recovers precious metals for recycling, and releases water that exceeds the Clean Water Act standards back into the environment will be highly desired worldwide," said Robert Berry, president of Dendritic Nanotechnologies Inc.

"Highly desired worldwide"? That's putting it lightly.

Via ::CMU Newsroom: CMU-RC and Dendritic Nanotechnologies launch research to purify ground water (press release), ::Dendritic Nanotechnologies Newsroom: DNT to develop water purification technology under US Department of Defense contract (press release)

See also: ::Steven Holl's Whitney Water Purification Facility, ::Israel & US: Really, Really Small Ways For Purifying Water, ::Julie Frost’s ‘Mvura’ Water Purifier Wins Design Award

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