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Cheap Water Disinfectant From SLAC August 16, 2016

Posted by stuffilikenet in Awesome, Science.

A bunch of scientists as Stanford Linear Accelerator Laboratory have developed a thin-film composite which can disinfect  a liter of water with just 1.6mg in 20 minutes (99.999% inactivation).  It does this with a sandwich of MoS2 and copper and sunlight.  The MoS2 generates hydrogen peroxide and the copper promotes the hole-electron separation which multiplies the effectiveness six times.

FLV-MoS2 disinfection schematic.

The method is not a cure-all; for instance, it doesn’t remove chemical pollutants from water. So far it’s been tested on only three strains of bacteria, although there’s no reason to think it would not kill other bacterial strains and other types of microbes, such as viruses. And it’s only been tested on specific concentrations of bacteria mixed with less than an ounce of water in the lab, not on the complex stews of contaminants found in the real world.

Still, it’s a damned good start. I would like to point out that these materials are very cheap and found nearly everywhere.


Nature Nanotechnology (2016) doi:10.1038/nnano.2016.138


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