Turning water into disinfectant

28 July 2020

A new solution holds promise as an environmentally friendly disinfectant.

A team of researchers from Israel’s University of Bar-Ilan have developed method that uses tap water to produce environmentally friendly disinfectants.

Using carbon electrodes, the team applied electricity to tap water containing salts. By altering the composition of the water, for example the level of acidity, the applied voltage and duration that the voltage is applied, the disinfection capability of the solution can be altered, the researchers say.

The prototype disinfectant has been found to be effective for killing bacteria and viruses at relatively low concentrations. The researchers said that they examined the ability of the disinfectant to impair Herpes simplex virus type 1 infection and human coronavirus OC43. Both viruses were completely eliminated when exposed to the product for different periods of time.

The researchers noted that the structural characteristics of OC43 are similar to those of SARS-CoV-2, suggesting this virus can be eliminated by the new disinfectant, which is said to have an antiseptic capability 100 times more effective than bleach.

The team has produced a prototype reusable spray bottle containing electrodes, filled with water and the mix of salts. ‘By judicious immediate application of electricity, the disinfecting solution is produced on site and can be used on skin, wounds, at the supermarket and on surfaces for local disinfection…,’ the researchers said. Patents covering the technology have been applied for.

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