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Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Nanomaterials for clean Loo's

Even the most ardent environmentalist wants a clean bathroom and toiled irrespective of the actual process of getting a modern washroom clean. The plethora of chemicals and detergents used, the amount of piped water used are some of the constituents of your toilet cleaning power bills. Looks like the solution is around the corner.

Best Syndication reports:
Researchers from University of New South Wales, Australia, are working on developing a coating that may make cleaning bathrooms less of a chore.

The lead researchers Professor Rose Amal and Professor Michael Brungs of the ARC Centre for Functional Nanomaterials, are hoping to apply a coating of tiny particles of titanium dioxide to keep the toilets clean. Currently the titanium dioxide is being used on outdoor items like self-cleaning windows.

How it works is that ultraviolet light below a specific wavelength causes electrons to excite and this gives the effects of oxidation. This oxidation disinfects better than commercial bleach. It makes it better for sanitation as it is continually cleaning instead of waiting for the janitor.

To further keep the bathroom clean, nanoparticles kill microbes and remove organic compounds. The titanium dioxide contains ‘superhydrophilicity’ which makes it so liquid droplets do not form on the surface. It makes the liquid run off and washes as it drips off.

The researchers are faced with one dilemma for making the titanium dioxide coating to work indoors. The coating is activated by ultraviolet sunlight, and they need to be able to activate the titanium dioxide with indoor lighting. In order to make it work indoors, they are trying to modify the chemical compound by adding other elements like iron or nitrogen so it can use light of a longer wavelength.

Looks like all bathrooms will now have titanium surfaces with UV LED's initiating the cleanup based on occupancy.

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