Feeds

New tap turns water into super-cleaning potion

Boffins add ultrasound and bubbly goodness

Build a business case: developing custom apps

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. ®

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

More from The Register

next story
World Solar Challenge contender claims new speed record
One charge sees Sunswift travel 500kms at over 100 km/h
SMELL YOU LATER, LOSERS – Dumbo tells rats, dogs... humans
Junk in the trunk? That's what people have
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
Bad back? Show some spine and stop popping paracetamol
Study finds common pain-killer doesn't reduce pain or shorten recovery
BEST BATTERY EVER: All lithium, all the time, plus a dash of carbon nano-stuff
We have found the Holy Grail (of batteries) - boffins
Forty-five years ago: FOOTPRINTS FOUND ON MOON
NASA won't be back any time soon, sadly
Jurassic squawk: Dinos were Earth's early FEATHERED friends
Boffins research: Ancient dinos may all have had 'potential' fluff
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.