Nanoparticle Tech Could Bring Clean Water to Rural Poor

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A water purification system that uses nanotechnology to remove bacteria, viruses and other contaminants may be able to deliver clean drinking water to rural communities for less than $3 a year per family, according to a new study.

Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology Madras in Chennai, India, developed a purification device that filters water through a specially crafted mixture of nanoparticles to removeharmful contaminants. Their study was published today (May 6) in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The device, which is currently being tested in communities in India, could offer an affordable way to provide small families with at least 10 liters (2.6 gallons) ofsafe drinking waterper day, said study co-author Thalappil Pradeep, a professor in the department of chemistry at the Indian Institute of Technology Madras.