High levels of a naturally exists chemical called arsenic are a source of contamination of ground-based water, like well-water, for people in many countries round the world, including parts of the US. Consuming arsenic-contaminated water may be a serious public health issue, resulting in severe health complications including skin, lung, bladder, kidney and liver cancers, consistent with the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.
Now, engineers at the University of Missouri College of Engineering have designed a low-cost filter which will remove arsenic from household beverage and supply peace of mind for many people that are in danger of drinking arsenic-contaminated water round the world. additionally to arsenic, the researchers believe their filter design concept could even be wont to eliminate other drink-ing water contaminants, like lead. While the difficulty of arsenic-contaminated water has been studied before, the MU researchers believe this proof-of-concept filter design is first of its kind for single household use.
Zhengyang “Phillip” Wang is that the lead author on the study. Wang recently graduated from MU with a doctorate in environmental engineering and is now a postdoctoral scientist at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station. For nearly a decade, he has been curious about exploring the boundaries of how scientists can solve both existing and emerging environmental issues, especially water contamination. Wang believes a plus point of their filter concept is its longevity—he said it could last a few months before wanting to get replaced .
“Even though some materials are previously developed which will quickly remove arsenic, only a few are commercially available today because they’re expensive to get ,” Wang said. “So, with this study, we are proposing a filter design with a two-material approach—first, arsenic within the water are going to be trapped by a fast-adsorbing material, then the trapped arsenic will pass to a second material designed for arsenic “storage.” This design can also be cheaper to produce than the present filters available today, considering two materials can work together. Optimally, this process would occur overnight while people are sleeping, and supply people with safe, purified water next morning.”
Arsenic-contaminated water may be a significant issue in rural areas that aren’t connected to large public water systems, said Baolin Deng, a professor in Civil and Environmental Engineering Department and corresponding author on the study.
“In the US, especially in areas of the southwest like Arizona and New Mexico , where groundwater is employed as a primary source of drinking-water, there’s a possible for a high concentration of arsenic,” said Deng, who also work as a director of the Missouri Water Resource Research Centre . “In other parts of the earth, like Bangladesh, it’s very notable. as an example , many people there might drink water with a high concentration of arsenic.”
This study was published in Water Research