Apr 25, 2017 | Updated: 06:17 AM EDT

Membranes Remove Viruses From Drinking Water: Promising Breakthrough To Avail Clean Water Resources

Apr 20, 2017 03:42 AM EDT

Andrzej Listowski, manager of water and energy at Sydney Olympic Park, holds a flask of clean water which has been recycled from sewage November 17, 2006, in Sydney, Australia
(Photo : Ian Waldie/Getty Images)

Modern science creates a great breakthrough when researchers have successfully developed membranes to remove viruses and produce safe drinking water. A significant achievement to explore many future opportunities.

Researchers from two famous universities, the University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign and the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, have achieved a pioneering success. The research team invents membranes that help to remove viruses from the treated wastewater and make a safe passage for drinking. The process actually aimed to filter the municipal water used for drinking.

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Chlorine is the commonly used chemical to purify water. Significantly the new ultrafiltration method needs no such thing to remove the pathogenic viruses, according to the Phys.org. Researchers from both the universities collectively discover new membranes to produce safe drinking water.

The researchers monitored the municipal wastewater and detected the existence of the human Adenovirus that acts as a contaminant. The sources of drinking water in the U.S. like the Great Lakes and others also contain the said contaminant, according to the research team. The newly discovered membranes can be the best solution to this problem. Safe drinking water is undoubtedly the urgent need in almost all the parts of the world.

A number of waterborne viruses, like the norovirus and the adenovirus cause severe health problems every year. Norovirus is one of the common causes of the viral gastroenteritis in the human body. This health problem is associated with diarrhea, nausea, and others. It is essential to remove this virus from drinking water and the newly developed membranes can do that during the filtration process.

Apart from norovirus, another harmful virus is adenovirus that is responsible for a series of health diseases, like pneumonia, fever, neurological disease and many others. It is quite clear that an urgent initiative is necessary to eradicate this virus related problems. The researchers use the "zwitterionic polymer hydrogel" coating to make an ultrafiltration membrane a perfect tool to remove these viruses from drinking water.

The hydrogel coating enhances the efficiency of the membranes through the positive and the negative charges. This process helps to lower the virus accumulation on the newly designed filter surface. The final result shows the removal of a good amount of waterborne viruses. The study is available in the latest issue of the Water Research.

The increasing level of pollution will make the coming days very crucial for human civilization with a probable scarcity of safe drinking water. It is the need of the hour to create a breakthrough to avoid this problem. The modified membranes can play a promising role in controlling the filtration process to produce clean water resources.


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