Globally, more than 2 billion people are forced to use a drinking water source that is contaminated with bacteria, parasites, and other pathogens, and an estimated 502,000 people die each year from diarrhea as a result of unsafe water. While a majority of the world has access to improved water sources, many are often contaminated; thus, a need for effective water treatment at the point of consumption remains. Existing solutions use filters that require regular replacement and can easily become clogged, making it simply too expensive for many poorer and rural communities. Alternatives to filtration include treatment with chlorine or other chemicals, but chlorine can react with any organic material in contaminated water, making it less effective at eliminating pathogens.
AquaPulse is a new, portable, off-the-grid water purification system that uses electricity to kill bacteria, parasites, and viruses, making contaminated water safer to drink without the need for expensive filters or machinery. Its microfluidic design is highly efficient, allowing it to rapidly cleanse drinking water and last a long time before needing to be serviced or replaced. Initially, the Wyss team aims to achieve a processing volume of 1 liter of water per minute.
This technology is currently being de-risked at the Wyss Institute. The team is seeking partners in manufacturing and field testing for this AquaPulse.