New method of water purification based on the particle-exclusion phenomenon

Environ Sci Technol. 2008 Aug 15;42(16):6160-6. doi: 10.1021/es703159q.


Colloidal particles in suspension are excluded from the vicinity of various hydrophilic surfaces. On the basis of this phenomenon, a novel method of water purification is proposed and tested. Proof-of-concept is demonstrated using a custom-made extractor that collected clean water from the annular "exclusion zone" within a Nafion tube. Up to 99.6% of particles could be removed from the suspension. The experimental results suggest that particle exclusion may provide a new framework for water purification from both organic and inorganic matter, as well as from harmful pathogens.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adenoviridae
  • Bacteria
  • Particulate Matter / chemistry*
  • Soil / analysis
  • Water / chemistry*
  • Water Purification / methods*


  • Particulate Matter
  • Soil
  • Water