Titanium dioxide film enhances the sun's natural disinfection power

January 12, 2012

The world population is estimated to be seven billion and all these mouths need feeding. With fears about overfishing and the sustainability of fish stocks in our seas fish farming is becoming big business. As with all farming there are issues about maintaining the health of stock and how to prevent bacterial infection. New research published in BioMed Central's open access journal BMC Microbiology demonstrates that a prototype water purification reactor containing a thin film of titanium dioxide (TiO2) is able to enhance the sun's natural disinfection properties This device could reduce the need for expensive antibiotics or poisonous chemicals.

Outbreaks of infectious diseases by bacteria and other can cause substantial losses of stock in aquaculture. While antibiotics, biocides and conventional disinfectants can be used, they are expensive and leave behind chemical residues. Using sunlight for disinfection is not a new idea however conventional solar disinfection is slow and inefficient.

Researchers from CQUniversity, Australia, addressed this problem by adapting thin-film fixed-bed reactor (TTFBR) technology to provide treated water. In the reactor water contaminated by Aeromonas hydrophila was slowly passed over a sloping film of TiO2 at a fixed rate and in full sunlight. Results showed that using TiO2 as a increased the effectiveness of solar disinfection by over 10 times.

Prof Rob Reed, one of the team who performed this work explained, "Other people have looked at using TiO2 as an enhancer of solar disinfection, but they either used a suspension of TiO2 particles in water, or artificial UV to test their reactors. Our TTFBR technology is very effective at killing pathogens at high levels of natural sunlight and consequently is particularly suited to countries with sunny climates and is especially useful to developing countries where sunlight is abundant but other resources are scarce."

Explore further: Research links recreational pool disinfectants to health problems

Related Stories

Titanate cigarette filter could be safer

May 4, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- While current cigarettes are made with a filter created from cellulose acetate which absorbs things like nicotine, tar, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, Chinese researchers have discovered that nanomaterials ...

Chemists examine solar energy and air purification

July 22, 2011

The abundant sunlight is no doubt making beachgoers happy this summer, but those working on their tans aren't the only beneficiaries. The sun's rays are also a key ingredient to going green.

Philips unveils revolutionary water disinfection solution

November 3, 2011

Philips Lighting has today announced the launch of a new, complete and innovative water disinfection solution, Philips InstantTrust. This solution is based on cutting-edge disinfection technology optimized for point-of-use ...

Algal protein gives boost to electrochemical water splitting

December 19, 2011

Photosynthesis is considered the 'Holy Grail' in the field of sustainable energy generation because it directly converts solar energy into storable fuel using nothing but water and carbon dioxide (CO2). Scientists have long ...

Recommended for you

Genomes uncover life's early history

August 24, 2015

A University of Manchester scientist is part of a team which has carried out one of the biggest ever analyses of genomes on life of all forms.

Rare nautilus sighted for the first time in three decades

August 25, 2015

In early August, biologist Peter Ward returned from the South Pacific with news that he encountered an old friend, one he hadn't seen in over three decades. The University of Washington professor had seen what he considers ...

Why a mutant rice called Big Grain1 yields such big grains

August 24, 2015

(Phys.org)—Rice is one of the most important staple crops grown by humans—very possibly the most important in history. With 4.3 billion inhabitants, Asia is home to 60 percent of the world's population, so it's unsurprising ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.