Acoustic Nanotube Technology
This technology was developed by scientists at NASA to purify water to reuse it on the international space station. However, this innovation can also be used on earth to purify potable, medical grade water. In this technology acoustics are used instead of pressure in order to direct water through small diameter nano tubes. This technology consists of an acoustically driven molecular screen that is integrated with carbon nanotubes. These carbon nanotubes allow only the water molecules to pass through and block the larger molecules and contaminants. Thie technology operates by driving water away from contaminants instead of removing contaminants from water. Moreover, its power consumption is also low as compared to other filtration processes. Moreover, this process does not require flushing of the filter system.
Something about Nanotubes:
Carbon nanotubes are allotropic modifications of carbon that take the shape of hollow cylindrical graphene structures with diameters ranging from tenths to several nanometres. Simply described, it is a massive molecule with millions of carbon atoms arranged at the vertices of regular hexagonal structural parts.
Carbon nanotubes have an unusually high strength-to-density ratio as a material. The tubes have a strength coefficient of 1 to 100 GPa (steel has a strength coefficient of 500–3000 MPa), and their density is slightly higher than that of water — 1.35 g / cu. see. The nanotube fibre is currently the thinnest known fibre; its thickness is 30,000 times smaller than the normal thickness of a human hair. Another essential aspect of nanotubes (particularly for acoustic applications) is their quick heating and poor heat capacity when exposed to alternating electric current.
Nanotubes have found practical application in a wide range of fields due to their features. Heavy-duty threads, nano balance, gas detection sensors, medical in general and surgery, energy producers and engines, artificial muscles, current sources, and more are just a few examples. A cable for a space elevator is one of the most ambitious nanotube-related projects. Although, because to the large loss of strength during fibre synthesis, their utility has been questioned in several articles.
Unlike the space elevator, the effectiveness of employing nanotubes to construct high-fidelity sonic emitters is undeniable. For testing purposes, prototypes of such speakers have already been developed. However, efficiency is one thing, whereas serial production is quite another.
The ability to make different types of (single-layer and multi-layer) transparent carbon films in 1991 was a turning point for harnessing nanotubes’ acoustic capabilities.
How does it work?
Waste water entering the device first contacts the filter matrix made of either ceramic, polymer or metallic compounds. The composition of filter matric depends on end use requirements. the matric consists of carbon nanotubes that only allow the water molecules to pass through and block the large molecules and contaminants. This technology is unique because it employs the use of acoustics to drive water through filter. Acoustic vibration is propagated by an oscillator circuit that is attached to the filter matrix. These acoustic vibrations cause the water molecules to de-bond and cause them to move through the filter. Another importance of using acoustic is that it eliminated the need of gravity, that is used in some other filtration process to mover water through the filtration device. A cleaning cycle is triggered when the water that is exiting the system diminishes to predetermined site point in order to clean the sediment from the filter inlet and to re-establish the system flow rate. This technology does not require flushing of the filter system that is required in other filtration systems.
Why is this water filtration technology better?
The existing water technologies that are in use have various drawbacks like limited performance, the consumption of energy is high and the costs of operation and maintenance are also high. The new and improved treatment technologies that are being introduced depend on application of pressure to drive waste water through the water filtration system. The acoustic nanotube technology combines the sue of acoustics and small diameter nanotubes that makes this process highly effective and efficient in removal of contaminants from water and producing water that has high purity.
Benefits of acoustic nanotube filtration
Effective: Acoustic nanotube filtration technology can very effectively eliminate contaminants and produce pure water.
Efficient: As compared to other filtration processes, acoustic nanotube filtration technology requires less power which makes it suitable for remote operation. Moreover, due its ability to consume less energy, solar power options can also be considered to provide it operational power.
Flexible: It is a flexible process as it does not depend on gravity to drive water through the filter system. That is why it is mostly employed in space stations.
Scalable: Depending on the filtration requirement, it can either be used as a single filter or as a large bank of integrated filters.
Widely applicable: This technology is suitable for a variety of water processing needs. It can be used for industrial to commercial applications.
Acoustic nanotube water filtration technology has a wide range of applications:
- Used to purify water in municipal water facilities.
- Is ideal for medical grade water.
- Can be used to filter waste water from laboratories.
- Used in distillers.
- Can be used in desalination plants.
- Ideal for use in industrial facilities.
- Wastewater treatment facilities also use this technology to efficiently purify water.
- Consumer markets.
- Can be used for ultrapure water filtration.
- Can efficiently remove chemical products from water.
Acoustic Nanotube Technology Frequently Asked Questions
1) What is acoustic nanotube technology?
This molecular sieve for water filtration uses carbon nanotubes with tiny diameters and is powered by sound. By pushing water away from impurities rather than removing them from water, this technique flips the conventional understanding of filtration on its head.
2) How does nanotechnology help water treatment?
The highly porous nanoparticles, which are made to grab water and hold onto it like a sponge, also reject dissolved salts and other contaminants. Additionally, the organic substances and bacteria that eventually clog up conventional membranes are repelled by the hydrophilic nanoparticles incorporated in the membrane.
3) What are the advantages of using nanotubes?
Compared to conventional materials, CNTs are wellsuited for practically any application requiring high strength, durability, electrical conductivity, thermal conductivity, and lightweight characteristics. CNTs are primarily employed today as synthetic additives.
4) What are the disadvantages of nanotubes?
- Scientists still don’t understand how they work despite all of their research.
- They are little, making it challenging to work with them.
- Currently, the process for making nanotubes is quite expensive.
5) How do carbon nanotubes filter water?
The nanotubes compress entering water molecules into a single file chain when inserted in fatty membranes, resulting in extremely fast transport. The flow was 6 times faster in the best biological membrane, a protein known as aquaporin, as and 10 times faster than in broader carbon nanotubes.