Nano-tech for purifying water

Reddish-yellow water — a common sight in villages where iron and arsenic contaminate water sources — is poured through a simple looking contraption. Out comes clear potable water.

Having spent more than 15 years perfecting nano-technology polymers to filter water, AMRIT (Arsenic and Metal Removal through Indian Technology), a company incubated by IIT-Madras, has received approval from the Centre to take the technology across the country. In Karnataka, the cost-effective and eco-friendly system is already being employed in Raichur district.

“What this means is that this has been accepted as a solution to the drinking water crisis. Nearly 85 million people are affected through arsenic-contaminated water,” said T. Pradeep from the Department of Chemistry, IIT Madras whose team has patented nearly 65 technologies to develop an array of polymers — to filter out arsenic, iron, pesticides and even act as anti-bacterial and anti-viral — catering to domestic consumption and even municipal-level filtering. The displays were among the most popular at the exhibition.

A bamboo casing, with the polymer in it, can filter up to 600 litres of heavily-contaminated water per hour. “A small storage unit costs Rs. 1 lakh. The polymer sheet needs to be replaced yearly but itis cheap. It doesn’t even run on electricity, making it suitable for villages,” said Anil Kumar, research scholar from IIT-M. A set-up involving a ‘water ATM’ allows villagers to swipe a card and ‘withdraw’ a litre for 10 paise.

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Printable version | Oct 31, 2020 8:19:54 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/nanotech-for-purifying-water/article8311474.ece

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