Feeds

New tap turns water into super-cleaning potion

Boffins add ultrasound and bubbly goodness

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Scientists in Southampton have been given a grant by the Royal Society to develop an ultrasonic tap head that makes water clean better.

By introducing bubbles and ultrasound to the water, the new nozzle developed by Professor Tim Leighton and Dr Peter Birkin ramps up the ability of the water to shift dirt and cuts down on wasted water and, ultimately, energy.

Both the ultrasound and bubbles travel down the water stream to the dirty surface and there the bubbles act as microscopic "smart scrubbers", seeking and entering crevices to remove dirt there using sheer force.

The Royal Society awarded the £250,000 Brian Mercer Innovation grant to Leighton and Birkin to make a commercially viable nozzle attachment that could be attached to normal hoses and taps.

Ultrasound is currently used in cleaning, but only in the form of baths which are restricted to what can fit inside them. High pressure water is often used to clean facilities such as abattoirs or nuclear plants but the new ultrasound tap uses less water – approximately 2 litres/minute compared to 20 litres/minute and less power – less than 200W compared to 2kW.

Additionally the bubbly vibrating water requires fewer additives, causes less damage than the high power jet and generates less runoff and aerosol (spray particles). The new nozzle's ability to clean at high and low settings means that it can be used for cleaning delicate things in food preparation.

"Ineffective cleaning leads to food poisoning; failure of manufactured products such as precision watches and microchips; and poor construction – from shipbuilding to space shuttles – since dirty surfaces do not bond," says Professor Leighton. "The impact in healthcare is huge; hospital-acquired infections, from instruments that aren't properly cleaned, cost the NHS £1bn per year."

The Brian Mercer award provides a grant of £250,000 to develop an already proven concept or prototype into a near-market product. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Voyager 1 now EIGHTEEN LIGHT HOURS from home
Almost 20 BEEELION kilometres from Sol
MEN: For pity's sake SLEEP with LOTS of WOMEN - and avoid Prostate Cancer
And, um, don't sleep with other men. If that's what worries you
Ex-Soviet engines fingered after Antares ROCKET launch BLAST
Speculation rife, but Orbital claims it's too early to tell
Jim Beam me up, Scotty! WHISKY from SPAAACE returns to Earth
They're insured for $1m, before you thirsty folks make plans
ROGUE SAIL BOAT blocks SPACE STATION PODULE blastoff
Er, we think our ISS launch beats your fishing expedition
NASA: Spacecraft crash site FOUND ON MOON RIM
'What fun!' exlaims NASA boffin who found the LADEE
Comet Siding Spring revealed as flying molehill
Hiding from this space pimple isn't going to do humanity's reputation any good
BAE points electromagnetic projectile at US Army
Railguns for 'Future fighting vehicle'
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.
Mitigating web security risk with SSL certificates
Web-based systems are essential tools for running business processes and delivering services to customers.