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Cu3P nanowire enabling high-efficiency, reliable, and energy-efficient low-voltage electroporation-inactivation of pathogens in water

Abstract

Pathogen infection has become the major reason for human morbidity and mortality in the world. However, common bacterial inactivation methods (e.g., chlorination, ultraviolet radiation, and ozonization) have significant drawbacks such as carcinogenic byproduct formation, energy intensiveness, and/or regrowth of pathogens. Nanowire-assisted low-voltage electroporation enables effective and energy-efficient bacterial inactivation. Here, we develop a new Cu3P nanowire-assisted copper mesh (Cu3PNW-Cu) electrode via an in-situ growth followed by phosphidation method and for the first time, introduce the Cu3PNW to the water purification process. An electroporation-disinfection cell (EDC) equipped with two such electrodes achieves superior bacterial inactivation performance (>6.0 log removal; no live bacteria in the effluent) with a low voltage of 1 V and a high flux of 2.0 m3 h-1 m-2 (20 s of contact time). Under such operation conditions, the Cu3PNW-Cu electrode continuously treats water for 12 h while maintaining complete bacterial inactivation. The disinfection mechanism of electroporation guarantees an exceedingly low level of energy consumption: only 1.2 J for treating 1 L of water. To our knowledge, this is the lowest value obtained to date: >5 orders of magnitude lower than the typical energy consumption for bacterial inactivation using electroporation (150 kJ L-1).

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Publication details

The article was received on 02 Jul 2018, accepted on 12 Sep 2018 and first published on 12 Sep 2018


Article type: Communication
DOI: 10.1039/C8TA06304D
Citation: J. Mater. Chem. A, 2018, Accepted Manuscript
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    Cu3P nanowire enabling high-efficiency, reliable, and energy-efficient low-voltage electroporation-inactivation of pathogens in water

    Z. Huo, J. Zhou, Y. Wu, Y. Wu, H. Liu, N. Liu, H. Hu and X. Xie, J. Mater. Chem. A, 2018, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/C8TA06304D

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