Waterborne bacteria is the reason behind a number of diseases and currently,expensive filters are used to tackle this bacteria in water. However, a research team at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology has come up with a low voltage water purifier that is capable of killing more than 99% of the waterborne bacteria in mere seconds. Want to guess how much the gadget will cost? Only $1-2.50!
The research was carried out under a $1 million HK Government fund. This gadget will inevitably lower the hospital operational costs where currently, $5000 HK worth medical grade filters are used to tackle the waterborne bacteria and they need to be replaced every few weeks. In comparison, this device can run for 6 months on two AA batteries.
Professor Joseph Kwan Kai-cho, Director of the University’s Health, Safety and Environment Office said; ‘The device uses a pulse electric field that pulses at 100 times a second. The ultimate effect is that the pores of the bacteria’s cell walls become enlarged, resulting in the materials and cytoplasm within the cell flowing out through the holes. As such, the bacteria dies.’
The team is hoping that this wonderfully executed idea will not only help by reducing the hospital bills but will also work its way into home in order to protect those who live under a constant threat posed by the poorly managed water systems. Professor Yeung King-lun from the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Department said; ‘The major motivation behind this is that we typically find water from treatment plants very clean. But once it goes into piping for distribution, it usually gets contaminated.’
According to speculation by WHO, about two billion illness cases each year are caused by drinking water, which is unclean and Kind-lun pointed out that the biggest driving factors also included the problem of Legionella being faced in Hong Kong.
Tests are being carried out at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Yau Ma Tei, So let’s see how they pan out. Fingers crossed!