A.F. Colón, N. Alvarez, P. Figueroa, A. Arroyo, J. Avalos, B.R. Weiner, G. Morell, R. Ríos
University of Puerto Rico Rio Piedras Campus,
Keywords: water disinfection, carbon nano diamond, sustainability, nanomaterials
Summary:Ultra-Disperse Nano diamond (UDD) is an interesting carbon allotrope since it has a small particle size (4-5 nm) shows high stability and chemical resistant to degradation and is a biocompatible material. These properties make this material an ideal one for many applications such as surface coating and anti-bacterial treatments. Recent research in our laboratory demonstrated UDD bactericidal properties when it was mixed with microbialy polluted water. The most common method used to disinfect water is chlorination, but improper management of this treatment can cause lethal effects on water plant workers and the nearby community. Moreover, the disinfection by-products (DBP’s) produced have raised health concerns since high DBPs exposures have been associated with problems liver and kidney problems, and also can cause cancer to the population that drinks the water or inhales its vapor. We have carried out studies of UDD as a bactericidal agent as an alternative disinfection process for water treatment plants by mixing UDD powder with 50 gallons of microbialy polluted water from an urban watershed and cleaned by the thermal heating method to determine the effectiveness of a UDD water disinfection system. TEM & FTIR where done for UDD surface characterization and qualitative quantitative analysis of the bacteria samples were done for UDD bactericidal properties characterization. TEM results showed UDD particle size from 4-10 nm and FTIR showed no change in UDD surface composition before and after usage. Bacteria sampling results showed significant reduction of E. coli present in the water before and after UDD usage and cleaning method. These promising results demonstrate that UDD can be used to disinfect water, providing a bio-compatible and reusable new disinfection material for water treatment plants.