Plenty of Clean Water at the NanoFrontier

  • August 08, 2007

The single most important application of nanotechnology could be solving the global shortage of clean water—benefiting people in both industrialized and developing countries significantly.

A new podcast explores how Eric Hoek and his engineering research team at the University of California at Los Angeles, developed a new membrane using nanoparticles that promises to dramatically reduce the cost and energy needed to desalinate seawater and clean wastewater. In the near term, these membranes could work in municipal desalination plants in water-thirsty areas, such as those planned for the California coastline. In the future, this groundbreaking technology can be adapted to meet the clean water needs of poor countries and people who rely on low cost, decentralized water treatment systems.

Visit Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies' Web site for a podcast and newsletter on water and nanotechnology.

Pew is no longer active in this line of work, but for more information, visit the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies on