LED Foil: A Solution for Water Purification Needed in Remote Areas

Researchers from Ohio University developed a portable water purification solution with the use of LED technology. Yes, you heard right. LEDs to purify water for clean, safe drinking could impact people living in remote areas of third world countries where clean drinking water is scarce. LED technology has dominated the lighting industry within the past decade thanks to technological advances and competition. Not only can customers afford to swap out their old incandescent light bulbs with energy efficient LED light bulbs, but LEDs are now making headway in other forms of application. Introducing LED foil that can be toted around to purify water! Right now it’s only a prototype, but if completed on a larger scale, it would definitely be a game-changer.

 

led foil

“Ohio State University researchers have developed a technique to create light emitting diodes on metal foil.” Image by Brelon J. May, courtesy of The Ohio State University. Source: https://news.osu.edu/news/2016/11/15/uvled/

 

Water purification with the use of light is not a new concept; however, the use of LED lighting for water purification is. Before this miraculous discovery, water purification was accomplished with the use of mercury lamps to produce deep UV-light (ultraviolet light). This process was mainly used for sanitzing medical equipment and water. But mercury lamps are heavy and difficult for transportation in a portable sense. Not to mention, mercury is toxic! So, like many innovations that come about for practical implications to outperform their counterparts, the team at Ohio University invented a LED foil prototype to destroy dangerous microorganisms living in water. 

 

This LED foil is a small piece of flexible metal so it can fold around objects, and when energized, can kill harmful microorganisms to purify water. This flexible nanotechnology has never been created before with the use of LEDs for any prototypes until now. Sure, LEDs were tested in laboratories before, but the substances were inflexible and mighty pricey. Thus, these findings could not be used for practical implications. But with this new LED foil, commercial implications on a large scale are very possible. This could change water purification systems around the world! It’s cheaper, lightweight, and environmentally friendly. 

 

With its portability, energy efficiency, lightness, and commercial large scale probability, this LED foil has extreme potential to help people living in remote areas with no clean drinking water, as well as soldiers and medical aids helping in third world countries. Purifying water and sterilizing medical equipment with this metal LED foil would be a practical, and better alternative than other purification systems using deep-UV light. 

 

Source:

https://news.osu.edu/news/2016/11/15/uvled/