Almost two billion cases of illnesses each year are caused by the consumption of unclean water. A research team at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology seem to have developed a water purification system that can rid water of more than 99 percent of bacteria within seconds.
The research is a $1 million Hong Kong government funded project. The device works on a brilliant yet simple idea. It uses a pulse electric field that pulses 100 times a second. When the pores of the bacteria’s cell walls become enlarged, the bacteria dies. The incredible thing about this development is its price. It only costs $10-20 HK which is US $1-2.50. The device fits in the palm of your hand. The cheap price could lower hospital fees. Hospitals currently spend $5000 HK for medical grade filter which need to be replaced every few weeks. The new purification system can run off just two AA batteries for 6 months. Not only will it save hospital bills, the researchers hope that the device reaches homes to help protect those at risk from poor water systems.
Testing of this new technology is currently being conducted at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Yau Ma Tei. If all goes as expected we might get rid of contaminated water. One of the biggest reasons to develop this technology was because of the Legionella epidemic that hit Hong Kong. The master-minds behind this technology are Professor Joseph Kwan and Professor Yeung King-lun. They claim their major motivation behind this technology was the current water supply conditions in Hong Kong. “The idea is to find a technique that disinfects water without changing the water quality,” said Yeung. Their vision was to create a device which could be used both in hospitals and in homes.