Published on January 12th, 2010 | by Tina Casey6
New Energy "Bomb" Disinfects Water without Chemicals
Chemical treatment is becoming a less desirable way to provide safe drinking water, and water professionals have been searching for a less expensive, more reliable and more sustainable method of killing pathogens. Cavitation Technologies, Inc. has come up with one solution. The company’s new process uses mechanical and electrical systems to blow the little bugs to smithereens.
The company’s CaviGulation reactor sounds like a piece of equipment that would be at home in Frankenstein’s lab. It delivers up a complex set of reactions based on kinetic energy, chemical, electro-chemical, and hydrodynamic principles. The result: a water disinfection process that’s 1,000 times more effective than conventional systems.
The Problem with Chemicals and Water Treatment
Chlorine and ozone have been used as disinfectants for many years, but they are not entirely up to conforming with strict new water quality regulations. Pathogens like lamblii and cryptosporidium can be resistant, for example. In addition, no matter how effective they are, chemicals are commodities that are subject to market forces, and those forces came into play with a vengeance in the last decade, when a commodities boom lead to crippling price spikes and shortages. Water utilities scrambled for supplies and even rich nations were affected. The lesson was learned: public water treatment needs more reliability and predictability than the chemical market can offer.
Cavitation and the CaviGulator
Because it uses a mechanical process, the CaviGulator is not without issues, primarily the problem of fuel supply. In combination with solar energy or other sustainable power sources, the system has clear advantages over chemical treatment. For one thing, it practically erases the carbon footprint involved in manufacturing, transporting and administering chemicals. The CaviGulator acts by creating a tremendous force consisting of pressure, vacuum, kinetic impact, electrical field, and sonic waves, along with hydrodynamic cavitation (the formation of vapor bubbles leading to shock waves). As water passes through chambers in the reactor, microorganisms are literally shattered into pieces.
More Chemical-Free Water Treatment
Cavitatition Technologies joins a growing list of water treatment processes that are giving chemicals the heave ho. Ultraviolet disinfection has been growing in use, and there is even a low-tech version that can disinfect water in a used soda bottle. High tech nanomembranes and sonic devices are two other promising technologies that are coming into play.
Image: Water fountain by joshme on flickr.com