Can Ultraviolet LEDs Improve Water Quality?

The next time you gulp down a cool, refreshing glass of water you may just have LEDs to thank! There’s been much discussion about the purifying, antibacterial, antimicrobial and even anti-superbug properties of ultraviolet LEDs. The medical community has been working on a variety of applications for ultraviolet LEDs (UV LEDs) including sterilization of surgical tools and disinfection, but now other companies are considering UV LEDs for other applications.

One of these potential applications is water purification systems. Tap water, shower heads, and water pipes are the triggers for many diseases, and even traditional methods of water purification like boiling or sterilizing water won’t ensure that water will remain contaminant free for more than a few days.

In the past, UV irradiation has been used to eliminate water contaminants. Unfortunately, these lamps are not energy efficient and require a lot of energy to run. UV LEDs, like all other LEDs, would make UV irradiation systems much more energy efficient and longer lasting.

A number of companies throughout the world have undertaken the development of more efficient UV LED-based purification systems. One company, Watersprint, a Swedish water purification company, has teamed up with Korean UV LED optics company, Seoul Viosys, to begin the development of UV LED water purification products and systems. Their designs are much more space and energy efficient and would be able to be easily installed under sinks and in home’s hot water plumbing.

Plus, UV LED water purification systems could also be incredibly helpful in providing clean water to entire communities for a much lower cost. It’s speculated that eventually these energy-efficient systems could be hooked up in small towns and villages that desperately need clean water. While many of these systems are still being developed, it’ll definitely be interesting to see how UV LED water purification systems will continue to evolve.

Image Credit: LED Magazine

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