Location: Zoom
Add to Calendar 2021-12-02T14:00:00 2021-12-02T16:00:00 America/New_York PhD Proposal: Jamie Harris Title: Improving Silver-Ceramic-Based Point-of-Use Water Treatment with Novel Copper Addition and Popular Water Filters Zoom

All Invited

Committee Members:

  • Dr. Andres Clarens (chair), ESE
  • Dr. James Smith (advisor), ESE
  • Dr. Lisa Colosi-Peterson, ESE
  • Dr. Garrick Louis, ESE
  • Dr. John Scully, Material Science and Engineering

Date: Thursday, December 2, 2021

Time: 2:00pm – 4:00pm EST

Zoom Meeting Information: Email the ESE Office for Zoom Information

Title: Improving Silver-Ceramic-Based Point-of-Use Water Treatment with Novel Copper Addition and Popular Water Filters


In 2020, 1 out of 4 people did not have safely managed drinking water in their homes. Drinking untreated water can transmit waterborne diseases such as cholera, dysentery, and typhoid. A common symptom of these diseases, diarrhea, is the second leading cause of death in children under 5 years old. Interventions at the household (point-of-use) can reduce the pathogen load in drinking water to decrease instances of diarrhea and death. Point-of-use water treatment occurs after the water has been collected and right before consumption. The World Health Organization (WHO) has rigorous pathogen-removal standards for point-of-use water treatment. A product developed at the University of Virginia called the MadiDrop+ uses silver as a chemical disinfectant. Silver ions are effective against bacteria, but only achieve around a 1-log reduction of protozoa and viruses. Silver alone does not meet the WHO performance criteria. Combining silver with another chemical or filtration may increase disinfection to meet WHO performance criteria. 

For this research, we propose to develop a product that deploys copper for daily treatment of 10-20 liters of water. The fabrication procedures developed for a copper-releasing product (objective 1) will be used to develop a product that deploys both copper and silver (objective 2). The resulting water treatment product will be evaluated for a synergistic effect against viruses and protozoa. Objective 3 will examine the disinfection performance of combining chemical disinfection and filtration to address the shortcomings of each. Silver transport in the filter system will be simulated to design mediation for silver release. The most appropriate filter and silver tablet combination from laboratory experiments will be tested in households in South Africa. All three objectives aim to develop a point-of-use water treatment technology that can meet WHO household intervention performance standards.