Economy, Sci & Tech

Portable Water Purifier Developed

Portable Water Purifier Developed Portable Water Purifier Developed

Researchers at Sharif University of Technology have created a portable water purifier that removes contaminants and can be used in times of crises.

Unforeseen natural disasters, which damage vital urban infrastructures, pose a serious threat to the health of survivors. It becomes more critical when clean water is scarce. Thus, researchers at SUT's membrane labs created a small portable device that disinfects water without using chemicals. The device, that has been developed using membrane technology, uses electric energy to remove viruses, bacteria and fungi from surface and groundwater, IRNA reported.

It also reduces the amount of suspended solids to standard drinking levels.  

Abbas Mousavi, one of the team's researchers, elaborated on the challenges the team had to tackle while developing the device.

"Getting the size of the filter's pores right was particularly challenging. We needed the pores to be small enough so as not to let the particles swim through. However, if they were too small, water would not flow through the filter without the aid of a pump," he said.

He added that water purified by the device has been successfully tested at the university's environmental lab. A knowledge-based firm affiliated with SUT will soon be mass-producing the device.

SUT's membrane technology labs are the only ones in the country that have managed to industrialize membrane technology. With the aid of knowledge-based firms, ultra-filtering and micro-filtering membranes have been produced at the labs and distributed in the market. The lab is currently working on developing reverse osmosis membranes for domestic use. RO is a water purification technology that uses a semi-permeable membrane to remove larger particles from drinking water.  

The Industrial Development and Renovation Organization of Iran and SUT's Membrane Technology Center are negotiating a deal to set up a specialized factory for producing devices that incorporate membrane technology.

Membrane technology covers engineering approaches for the transport of substances between two fractions with the help of permeable membranes. It is becoming increasingly important in wastewater treatment.