Bengaluru: A tea stall is not what you may expect at an exhibition of cutting-edge nanotechnology. But complete with a transistor radio belting out Bollywood music, this incongruous stall demonstrated an important and affordable technology that used nanoscience to solve the problem of contaminated water.
Dubbed ‘Arsenic and metal removal by Indian technology’, the water purifier developed by IIT Madras uses nanoparticles to trap microbes and heavy metals from water, at a cost of less than 2 paise a litre. Silver nanoparticles set in a ‘cage’ of aluminum and chitosan (derived from crustacean shells) absorb arsenic or other contaminants, while silver ions kill microbes.
Better still, the nanoparticle filtration system does not require electricity, therefore promising access to clean water for some of the poorest communities.
Inaugurating the 7th Bangalore India Nano conference on Friday, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah called upon scientists to come up with “tangible nanotech-based solutions” for waste management and other challenges faced by the common man, whether in food security, energy security, water purification or medicine.
The State is likely to soon get permission from the Centre to establish a state-of-the-art Nano Park and Nano Incubation Centre, for which the State has allotted 14-acre area on Tumakuru Road, said Srivatsa Krishna, Secretary, Department of IT, BT, Science and Technology. A Centre for Nano and Soft Matter Sciences has also been planned there.
The Prof. C.N.R Rao Bangalore India Nano Science Award 2014 was presented to Shantikumar Nair, Dean of Research, Amrita University and Director of Amrita Center for Nanosciences, Kochi.