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Texas A&M Developing Water Purification Device for Military

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Battelle Memorial Institute has awarded a subcontract to the Texas A&M School of Public Health to develop a portable water treatment device using naturally occurring iron in the environment.

Providing a reliable source of purified drinking water for U.S. military as they serve in the field is the focus of the effort, overseen by Virender K. Sharma, Ph.D., M.Tech, M.Sc., professor at the Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Public Health.

According to Sharma, iron is easily converted to an environmentally friendly chemical compound called ferrate that can be used as a water treatment disinfectant to purify water.

“In a matter of minutes polluted water contaminated with pesticides and other toxins can be purified using ferrate without possibly leaving harmful by-products currently left behind with traditional water treatment chemicals, such as free chlorine, choramines and ozone,” says Sharma.

A research group led by Sharma is conducting laboratory studies to demonstrate the efficacy of ferrate to remove a wide range of contaminants. Results of the research will contribute to the development of the device.

Source: Rae Lynn Mitchell, Texas A&M, adapted.

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