The Best Water Technology Trends to Look Out For in 2024

As too many people lack access to clean water, it is vitally important that innovations in sanitation remain on the cutting-edge. Below are the latest water technology trends you should keep an eye out for in 2024.

Clay ceramic filters use sheets filled with microbial matrix that filter water molecules while blocking bacteria, dirt, and other sources of contamination [source: Doulton USA]. This form of water filtration can make river water suitable for consumption.

1. Magnetic Nanoparticles for Pathogen Detection

Consumption of unsafe water and food is one of the major contributors to infectious disease outbreaks, but current methods to detect pathogens in water or food samples are expensive, time consuming, and require specialist equipment.

Foreign particles like sand and rust may enter our tap water from its journey from the waterworks. This contamination can damage pipes and result in dripping taps; additionally, they provide ideal conditions for bacteria and pathogens that could make us sick.

New technology is making it easier to access clean drinking water with reduced impurities. Filters use electricity to attract metal particles together so they can be easily collected for removal, while photocatalysis uses ultraviolet (UV) rays to break down and eliminate contaminants in drinking water.

2. Improved Saltwater Deionisation Technique

As 97% of Earth’s water lies within oceans, desalination appears to be a viable solution to our global water crisis. Unfortunately, desalination plants consume vast amounts of energy and require substantial infrastructure investments, making them unviable in many regions.

Dr Matthew Suss, Mr Eric Guyes and Ms Rana Uwayid at Technion Israel Institute of Technology are taking an innovative approach. They are working on ways to make capacitive deionisation cycling more effective.

CDI’s efficiency lies in the structure of its carbon electrodes. Their nanoporous structures allow them to cover an expansive surface area – equivalent to five tennis courts if one small electrode were to exist – so as ions flow through cells they absorb into these carbon structures and store as electricity – leading to its record thermodynamic energy efficiency; but this process may lead to breaking down and reduced salt storage capacities over time.

3. Enhanced Arsenic Removal in Point-of-Use Filters

Point-of-use (POE) systems offer reliable and consistent reduction of arsenic in water. Easy to install, these POE systems treat all cold water entering your home – not just what comes through your drinking faucets.

Arsenic can be found in groundwater as arsenite and arsenate forms, with arsenite being trivalent and therefore difficult to eliminate through precipitation, adsorption or ion exchange. Many treatment technologies first convert arsenite into arsenate before performing further removal techniques such as adsorption.

POE systems can also remove other heavy metals such as lead, cadmium, copper, mercury, chromium +6, selenium and zinc from your drinking water supply. They’re especially important in areas that lack access to treated drinking water sources – for instance rural villages where untreated groundwater wells provide household drinking water supply – which often results in arsenic levels exceeding China’s national standards.

4. Fast and Low-Cost Sensor for the Detection of Lead Ions

Heavy metals such as lead are major pollutants in aquatic environments and pose a severe threat to human health. Therefore, developing efficient analytical techniques for trace heavy metal detection must become a top priority.

Researchers created a portable electrochemical sensor using a screen-printed carbon electrode modified with in situ polymerized phytic acid functionalized polypyrrole for work electrode modification. Differential pulse anodic stripping voltammetry was then employed to detect Pb2+ in water samples.

Microwave sensing integrated with microfluidics provides an efficient and low-cost method of point-of-care (POC) testing of metal ions in water. Researchers enhanced its sensitivity and selectivity for Pb2+ detection by coating their microwave sensor with gold nanoparticles. Their test samples included spiked deionized (DI) water as well as tap water – showing its real world application potential. This technology utilizes precious metal nanogold technology, paper microfluidics, and microwave sensing to detect heavy metal ions present in water; making their POC testing method fast, simple, cost-effective when compared with laboratory instruments used by conventional lab instruments.

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