Copper and Zinc Nanoparticles as Microbial Disinfectants in Water Public Deposited

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  • February 27, 2019
  • Komandur, Abhinav Srinivasan Ramanujam
    • Affiliation: Gillings School of Global Public Health, Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering
  • Waterborne illness is one of the world's most pervasive causes of morbidity and mortality, with severe health, social, environmental and economic impacts. Human faeces are often inadequately managed and contaminate community and household water supplies. Sustainable safe community and household water access is often not achieved in the developing world and adverse health impacts can result from faecal contamination of water. Metals, particularly copper and zinc, have been proposed as effective disinfectants of drinking water. This research aimed to quantify the overall disinfecting effects of a 0.2 mg/L and 2mg/L dose of copper and zinc oxide nanoparticles, as well as the kinetics of such disinfection, on three test organisms; Bacillus cereus spores, Escherichia coli log-phase cells, and MS2 coliphage. Experiments were conducted in pH 7.3, 10 g/L (approximately 42mM)HEPES-buffered water with and without about 10 mg/L added natural organic matter (NOM). The concentrations of culturable microorganisms were assayed at 0, 20, 60, 180, and 360 minutes. Copper and zinc oxide nanoparticles were found to be effective for same-day or overnight achievement of the World Health Organisation (W.H.O.) "protective" level of disinfection (2 log[10] or 99% reduction) for E. coli in both experimental waters, and B. cereus spores in waters without added NOM. Measurable inactivation was not observed against MS2 coliphage for the low dose, although some inactivation (0.53 to 0.78 log[10] reduction in 6 hours in NOM-amended and NOM-negative waters, respectively) was achieved at the high dose. Some other experimental conditions yielded inactivation, but it was not rapid or extensive enough to achieve the W.H.O. protective performance target for same-day or overnight use. Overall, the combined use of copper and zinc nanoparticles shows promise for effective point-of-use disinfection of water low in turbidity and natural organic matter.
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  • In Copyright
  • Stewart, Jill
  • Sobsey, Mark
  • Coronell, Orlando
  • Master of Science in Public Health
Academic concentration
  • Sustainable Water Resources
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Graduation year
  • 2013
Deposit record
  • 5edc2a5d-0dd3-4d26-87fc-ca03080ac860

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