While architects often dream of floating houses and cities of the future, a new floating technology is promising to clean up our waterways. The winner of the 2014 Disrupt-O-Meter award is Puralytics, for the innovative technology that's at the root of the LilyPad, a floating, portable water purification device that works without chemicals, consumables, or power. How does it work? In a (big) word: Photocatalysis. When sunlight hits the nanotechnology-coated mesh that comprises the pad, it triggers a series of reactions that break down or remove pathogens in the water. Destroying pollutants—rather than collecting them, and in turn creating a hazardous waster condition—further enhances the LilyPad's green credentials. While other passive water-treatment methods—filters, purification tablets, and UV sterilizers—can dispatch with bacteria and protozoa, they don't address the truly nasty pollutants: heavy metals like lead and mercury, organic contaminants used in pesticides and herbicides, and pharmaceuticals. The LilyPad is still in development, undergoing rigorous field testing at Oregon State University's Stormwater Infrastructure Research Facility before it can be approved and deployed to clean up industrial waste-water, retention ponds, or streams. But it's possible to experience the process on a smaller scale right now. Puralytics manufactures a reusable three-liter sack, the SolarBag, that employs the same water-purifying technology.
Posts tagged with "Water Treatment":
Hurricane Sandy caused substantial damage to wastewater and drinking water treatment systems across the tri-state area. Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced plans to provide a total of $569 million to New York and New Jersey to make wastewater and drinking water treatment facilities more resilient to withstand the effects of future storms. As Michael Shapiro, EPA Principal Deputy Assistant Administrator, pointed out in a media call, "Sewage treatment plants are on the waterfront so are particularly vulnerable to rising sea levels." The funding will be provided through grants to states that will then be distributed primarily to local communities as low or no interest loans. “Going forward we’re encouraging local governments to submit proposals for green infrastructure and that rely on natural features to prevent flooding,” said EPA Regional Administrator Judith A. Enck in an announcement. The agency also anticipates that this funding will result in 6,000 short-term construction jobs.