Researchers at Thailand’s National Nanotechnology Center (NANOTEC) have build the first locally made prototype solar powered water purification unit “SOS water” which combined the use of antimicrobial nanocoating to ceramic filters. Compared to conventional ceramic filter, an antimicrobial nanocoating ceramic filter will increase an extra security by killing or incapacitating bacteria left in the water and preventing the growth of mold and algae in the body of the filter. The project was implemented as a result of the need to provide drinking water to communities affected by the 2011 mega flooding in Thailand.
The researchers adapted the antimicrobial nanocoating know-how for water filtration and assembled into in the production of mobile solar-operating system (SOS) water purification. The raw water goes through 6 filtration steps one of which is the antimicrobial nanocoating ceramic filtration unit. The quality of drinking water meets the 2010 guide standard of drinking water by Department of Health, Ministry of Public Health, Thailand. The SOS water system is capable of producing 200 liters of drinking water per hour and easily integrated into a pick-up, light truck, a trailer or a flat hull boat. The researchers have collaborated with the Thai Red Cross Society to do field testing of a prototype SOS water the result of which was outstanding. NANOTEC has donated the prototype SOS water to HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, Executive Vice President of the Thai Red Cross Society on June 28, 2012 for community relief effort. Also attending the royal ceremony was Dr. Plodprasob Suraswadi, Minister of Science and Technology, Prof. Dr. Pairash Thajchayapong, Chairman of NANOTEC Executive Board, and Dr. Thaweesak Koanantakool, President of National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA).
“The 2011 flood in Thailand was an eye opener for both the public and the government sector and we are glad to be in a position to utilize our research capabilities to help minimize the suffering of rural communities during the recent flooding” said Prof. Sirirurg Songsivilai, Executive Director of NANOTEC. “It is our hope that the SOS water will become a must-have item for national relief effort and rural community use”.
Dr. Chamorn Chawengkijwanich, researcher at NANOTEC and head of SOS water project informed that silver atoms are chemically bonded to the ceramic’s filter surface. The filtering function is long lasting and there no traces of silver particles are detected in the drinking water. SOS water is a stand alone unit which can be setup and operated using solar energy within 10-15 minutes.