There are already a few products that look to the power of the sun to improve water quality but Panasonic has developed a new technology that is looking to change the way people approach this idea.
The company recently presented a new system at Tokyo’s Eco Products Fair that utilises sunlight and photocatalysts to purify polluted water that has been extracted from the ground, improving access to clean water in areas where it is greatly needed.
The factor that sets this technology apart from all other is its ability to bind titanium dioxide (TiO2), a photocatalyst that reacts under ultraviolet light. Usually TiO2 is difficult to collect once it is in water, meaning that efforts have been hampered when it came to making use of it previously.
However, Panasonic’s new ‘Photocatalytic Water Purification Technology’ has found a way to bind TiO2 to zeolite, a commercial adsorbent and catalyst particle, which works by enabling photocatalysts to maintain their active site. Another major plus point for their new venture is the fact that it requires no binder chemicals to make the process work, as the two particles are bound using electrostatic force.
Testing of the product and its capabilities is currently underway in India, where a number of institutions are working with Panasonic. Figures from the company indicate that around 70% of India’s population relies on groundwater, which can be easily affected by different types of pollution, such as agrochemical residues and metals. The new technology would enable the purification of such groundwater, making it a lifeline to many emerging nations where water quality is a major issue.
Panasonic has stated that it will work to lower the costs and maintenance requirements that run alongside its water purification system, helping to make this technology available in countries where it is needed most – such as India. Currently the testing revolves around a small-scale version of the new system, like the one revealed during the event in Tokyo, with hopes that it will provide a new dimension to water-purification progress globally.