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News You Can Use

Crowd Computing to Improve Water Filtration

The research was conducted by 150,000 volunteers

Date: July 6, 2015
Source: American Friends of Tel Aviv University
Summary: Scientists propose a novel nanotechnology-based strategy to improve water filtration. The project was an experiment in crowdsourced computing -- carried out by over 150,000 volunteers who contributed their own computing power to the research.

Nearly 800 million people worldwide don't have access to safe drinking water, and some 2.5 billion people live in precariously unsanitary conditions, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Together, unsafe drinking water and the inadequate supply of water for hygiene purposes contribute to almost 90% of all deaths from diarrheal diseases -- and effective water sanitation interventions are still challenging scientists and engineers.

A new study published in Nature Nanotechnology proposes a novel nanotechnology-based strategy to improve water filtration. The research project involves the minute vibrations of carbon nanotubes called "phonons," which greatly enhance the diffusion of water through sanitation filters. The project was the joint effort of a Tsinghua University-Tel Aviv University research team and was led by Prof. Quanshui Zheng of the Tsinghua Center for Nano and Micro Mechanics and Prof. Michael Urbakh of the TAU School of Chemistry, both of the TAU-Tsinghua XIN Center, in collaboration with Prof. Francois Grey of the University of Geneva.

Shake, Rattle, and Roll

"We've discovered that very small vibrations help materials, whether wet or dry, slide more smoothly past each other," said Prof. Urbakh. "Through phonon oscillations -- vibrations of ...click here to continue.

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