Overcoming implementation barriers for nanotechnology in drinking water treatment
Nanotechnology enabled water treatment is a promising approach to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of purifying water in many areas of the world. Nanotechnology offers significant opportunities to revolutionize approaches towards drinking water treatment by enhancing the multifunctionality and versatility of treatment systems while reducing reliance on stoichiometric chemical addition (thus minimizing associated waste streams), shrinking large facilities with relatively long hydraulic contact times and minimizing energy intensive processes. The unique material properties that emerge at the nano-scale enable solutions to treat pollutants in water for which existing technologies are inefficient or ineffective. This perspective describes the rationale, opportunities and barriers for translating this nascent technology from promising bench-scale discoveries to full-scale commercialization and production of safe drinking water.