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Wednesday, 14 December 2016

How to kill E. coli in Portable Water? – Add a Special “Sweet” Solution

Researchers have find a sweet solution to kill Escherichia coli in drinking water using paper strips laced with sugar which could be the sweetest solution able to kill E. coli in contaminated water. Sushanta Mitra  a researcher in York University says the "DipTreat" discovery will be key to developing a new generation of inexpensive and portable water treatment devices, with human health benefits in Canada and around the world. Her group had earlier on discovered new ways to detect E. coli in contaminated water using a Mobile Water Kit.

Porous paper strips laced at the top and bottom with sugar are dipped into potable water to fish for, and trap, the bacteria, which can be harmful. The middle of the strip is infused with an antimicrobial agent extracted from the seeds of Moringa oleifera – commonly known as drumstick or horseradish tree. The treatment was shown to inactivate 90% of E. coli in water samples in less than two hours.

                                                          (c) Engineering360 News Desk

In her words she said "Now with DipTreat, we have learned it will take less than two hours to fish, trap and kill E. coli in water, we were able to efficiently remove almost 90 per cent of bacteria by dipping the special paper strip - DipTreat, in contaminated water samples." While using porous paper strips to trap the bacterial cells, for killing, the researchers used an antimicrobial agent extracted from the seeds of moringa - commonly known as drumstick or horseradish tree. As a result, the DipTreat solution for water treatment uses only naturally available antimicrobial substances and sugar, with minimal environmental and health impact.
Currently, popular water treatment systems use silver nanoparticles and clays, whose long term impact on human health is yet to be fully understood, according Mitra. So far, DipTreat is effective for small quantities of water. For example, someone who is hiking can collect a glass of water and then dip the paper strips to purify it before drinking. Researchers believe that the invention could lead to a much greater impact. "We expect this new approach to 'kill' E.coli and seamlessly eliminate the harmful bacteria from water."
Recognizing the global importance of water purification technology, UNICEF invited Mitra to showcase his team's work at a stakeholder meeting in Copenhagen on November 22 explaining the impact it could have on the national and global health scenario, from the far north of Canada to the remote villages of India, and around the world.

Featured article of the Royal Society of Chemistry Journal Environmental Science Water Research & Technology the study is co-authored by Mitra, Saumyadeb Dasgupta and Naga Siva Gunda.


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