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Author Topic: Bring the lab to the water . . .  (Read 155 times)

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Surly1

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Bring the lab to the water . . .
« on: April 29, 2014, 12:44:06 pm »
Water test for the world-

Simple pill brings lab to water to test for contamination



"We got the inspiration from the supermarket," says Carlos Filipe, a professor of chemical engineering who worked on the project.

Inspiration can come in many forms, but this one truly was a breath of fresh air.

A group of McMaster researchers has solved the problem of cumbersome, expensive and painfully slow water-testing by turning the process upside-down.

Instead of shipping water to the lab, they have created a way to take the lab to the water, putting potentially life-saving technology into the hands of everyday people. The team has reduced the sophisticated chemistry required for testing water safety to a simple pill, by adapting technology found in a dissolving breath strip. Want to know if a well is contaminated? Drop a pill in a vial of water and shake vigorously. If the color changes, there's the answer.

The development has the potential to dramatically boost access to quick and affordable testing around the world.

"We got the inspiration from the supermarket," says Carlos Filipe, a professor of chemical engineering who worked on the project.

The idea occurred to team member Sana Jahanshahi-Anbuhi, a PhD student in Chemical Engineering who came across the breath strips while shopping and realized the same material used in the dissolving strips could have broader applications.

The technology is expected to have significant public health applications for testing water in remote areas and developing countries that lack testing infrastructure, for example. The researchers have now created a way to store precisely measured amounts of enzymes and other active agents in pills made from the same naturally occurring substance used in breath strips, putting lab-quality science within instant and easy reach of people who need quick answers to questions such as whether their water is safe.

"This is regular chemistry that we know works but is now in pill form," says John Brennan, director of McMaster's Biointerfaces Institute, where the work took place. "The user can be anybody in a village somewhere who can take a pill out of a bottle and drop it in water." The material, called pullulan, forms a solid when dry, and protects sensitive agents from oxygen and temperature changes that can render them useless within hours. Until now, such agents have had to be stored at extremely cold temperatures and shipped in vials packed in huge chunks of dry ice, at great cost and inconvenience. Using them has been awkward, bulky and often wasteful.

The new method, described in an article published online in the European chemistry journal Angewandte Chemie, also holds promise for other applications, such as packaging that could change colour if food is spoiled.

"Can you modify packaging so it has a sensor to tell you if your chicken has gone off?" Brennan asks. "The reason that doesn't exist today is because there's no way you can keep these agents stable enough."

The new method allows the same materials to be stored virtually anywhere for months inside tiny pills that dissolve readily in liquid. The pills are inexpensive to produce and anyone can add them to well water, for an instant reading of pesticides, e. coli or metals, for example.

The new technology can easily be scaled up and find its way to market quickly, says Brennan. Pullulan is already approved for wide commercial use and is mass produced, which can speed the journey to market.

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by McMaster University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

Journal Reference:

    Sana Jahanshahi-Anbuhi, Kevin Pennings, Vincent Leung, Meng Liu, Carmen Carrasquilla, Balamurali Kannan, Yingfu Li, Robert Pelton, John D. Brennan, Carlos D. M. Filipe. Pullulan Encapsulation of Labile Biomolecules to Give Stable Bioassay Tablets. Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 2014; DOI: 10.1002/anie.201403222

AGelbert

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Re: Bring the lab to the water . . .
« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2014, 12:03:17 am »
Surly,
EXCELLENT! Most non adult humans on this planet get sick, miss school days, lose productivity and even die from bad water. A huge number of adults suffer from dysentery as well, affecting their longevity, productivity and quality of life. Clean water is a BIG DEAL!



Of course there will be those heartless bastards that will warn that may produce an increase in population and we "just can't have that, can we"? Give em' hell when they bring it up!  ;D
Leges         Sine    Moribus     Vanae   
Faith,
if it has not works, is dead, being alone.

Surly1

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Re: Bring the lab to the water . . .
« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2014, 04:22:39 am »
Surly,
EXCELLENT! Most non adult humans on this planet get sick, miss school days, lose productivity and even die from bad water. A huge number of adults suffer from dysentery as well, affecting their longevity, productivity and quality of life. Clean water is a BIG DEAL!



Of course there will be those heartless bastards that will warn that may produce an increase in population and we "just can't have that, can we"? Give em' hell when they bring it up!  ;D

And there are alway people, like the head of Nestle, who maintain that no one has a "right" to clean watery. this is what you get when you financialize EVERYTHING, and the only values that rule are those of Mammon.

AGelbert

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Re: Bring the lab to the water . . .
« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2017, 01:14:35 pm »
LifeStraw Go with 2-Stage Filtration


Leges         Sine    Moribus     Vanae   
Faith,
if it has not works, is dead, being alone.

AGelbert

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Re: Bring the lab to the water . . .
« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2017, 07:52:13 pm »
https://www.forbes.com/sites/samlemonick/2017/04/13/this-device-can-pull-three-liters-of-water-out-of-thin-air/#7c253b6f5611

Apr 13, 2017 @ 04:36 PM
This Device Can Pull Three Liters Of Water Out Of Thin Air

Sam Lemonick , 

There are 13,000 trillion liters of water in Earth’s atmosphere, but that doesn’t mean much for places like the Sahara desert. A new device aims to help harvest some of that fresh water from the air using only the Sun's energy.


If it can be scaled up and commercialized, the technology could be a boon to people living in arid regions or places where there is extreme drought. Other water-harvesting devices require high humidity, like fog, or need electricity to power condensers. This one will work off the grid and and in very dry conditions, according to its creators.

The new device has three parts: a highly porous layer to capture water from ambient air, a solar collector to heat that layer and release the water, and a condenser to turn that vapor into liquid water. Lead researchers Omar Yaghi at the University of California, Berkeley, and Evelyn Wang, at MIT, report in Science that the harvester can draw almost 3 liters of water per kilogram of adsorbent. And that’s at just 20 percent relative humidity, low enough to make your eyes feel like they’re drying out.

The key is the adsorbent, made from a spongy material called a metal-organic framework. MOFs are pretty much what they sound like, a metal atom or atoms with organic (i.e., carbon-based molecules) attached, creating an open structure with a repeating pattern. Yaghi is the king of MOFs, having designed thousands of them since the 1990s. They’re particularly useful because they can be designed to have specific physical and chemical properties depending on what you want them to adsorb. MOFs have been made to trap and store natural gas, capture methane from car exhaust or scrub carbon dioxide from smokestacks.

This MOF is made to adsorb water and easily let it go. It has clusters of zirconium atoms in a cage of carbon and oxygen, connected by short fumaric acid molecules. Fumaric acid, by the way, is sometimes used to give salt and vinegar chips their vinegar flavor. That architecture leaves big pockets for water molecules to gather in. And Yaghi says the chemical properties of this MOF encourage water molecules to pack in more tightly, increasing the amount of water it can adsorb from air.

Yaghi says his group first discovered this MOF while working on a different project with Yang, to utilize MOFs for car air conditioners. That program had ended when he realized this MOF would release its water without much energy input—little enough that the Sun could do it.

“We made this specific discovery, and I rushed to MIT and said to Evelyn, ‘We have to get this out,’” Yaghi recalls.
Leges         Sine    Moribus     Vanae   
Faith,
if it has not works, is dead, being alone.

 

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