In the R. Prasad reports in The Hindu‘s Science and Technology page today: IISc: novel membrane filters water, kills bacteria. The report is about a recent paper from Prof. Suryasarathi Bose‘s group.
A low-cost water purification membrane capable of filtering out objects greater than one micron size and also killing E. coli bacteria has been developed by the Bangalore-based Indian Institute of Science (IISc) researchers and Steer Engineering Pvt. Ltd, Bangalore. The results of the study were published recently in the Journal of Materials Chemistry A.
The novel membrane with pores as small as 0.57-0.68 microns was developed by mixing two polymers — polyethylene (PE) and polyethylene oxide (PEO) — at 180 degree C. Unlike PE, PEO is water-soluble and the two polymers are immiscible.
“We want them to be immiscible as we want to remove one of them, in this case the PEO which is water soluble,” said Dr. Suryasarathi Bose, Assistant Professor, Department of Materials Engineering, IISc. He is the corresponding author of the paper. Tiny holes came into being once the water-soluble polymer was removed.