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Research Spending & Results

Award Detail

Doing Business As Name:Georgia Tech Research Corporation
  • Xing Xie
  • (404) 894-9723
Award Date:07/28/2021
Estimated Total Award Amount: $ 50,000
Funds Obligated to Date: $ 50,000
  • FY 2021=$50,000
Start Date:08/01/2021
End Date:01/31/2022
Transaction Type:Grant
Awarding Agency Code:4900
Funding Agency Code:4900
CFDA Number:47.041
Primary Program Source:040100 NSF RESEARCH & RELATED ACTIVIT
Award Title or Description:I-Corps: Chlorine-Free Water Disinfection System
Federal Award ID Number:2140988
DUNS ID:097394084
Parent DUNS ID:097394084
Program Officer:
  • Ruth Shuman
  • (703) 292-2160

Awardee Location

Street:Office of Sponsored Programs
Awardee Cong. District:05

Primary Place of Performance

Organization Name:Georgia Institute of Technology
Street:225 North Ave
Cong. District:05

Abstract at Time of Award

The broader impact/commercial potential of this I-Corps project is to enable better approaches for water disinfection. For the last century, chlorine disinfection has improved human health in developed nations worldwide by reducing waterborne diseases like typhoid, cholera, and dysentery. More recently, there has been increased scrutiny on chlorine's contribution to potentially harmful disinfection by-products (DBPs). This project develops a more accessible, sustainable, and safe method to disinfect drinking water. The proposed technology is both energy-efficient and chlorine-free, and can be used for short-term outdoor activities like camping or hiking, emergency response after disasters such as earthquakes or hurricanes, as well as point-of-use (POU) treatment systems for hospitals, remote areas, and developing communities. The technology can also be integrated into POU systems like water bottles, faucets, tabletop pitchers, shower heads, and even swimming pools. The approach can be potentially retrofitted directly into existing pipelines to provide antimicrobial benefits over the entire distribution system while also reducing the residual chlorine. This I-Corps project develops a chlorine-free disinfection technology that synergistically uses a locally-enhanced electric field and the natural biocidal effects of copper to kill pathogens in drinking water. This approach enables high microbial inactivation with low copper doses and low electrical energy consumption. The underpinning mechanism exploits the lightning rod effect by applying a low voltage to electrodes with coaxial configurations and/or nanowire-modified surfaces. This enhanced electric field is capable of not only inactivating pathogens directly upon contact but also increasing the permeability of cell membranes for microbial copper uptake, resulting in more effective inactivation. This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

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