QuantumSphere, Inc. Research Grant Awarded to Civil and Environmental Engineering Team at UCLA – Project to Validate QSI-Nano® Materials for Anti-Microbial Water Purification
Professor Eric M.V. Hoek, of the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science Selected to Receive Grant for Research Proposal on the use of QSI-Nano® Materials in Water Filtration Devices
Santa Ana, CA – January 10, 2007 – QuantumSphere, Inc., a leading manufacturer of nano metals and alloys for applications in renewable energy, electronics and other markets demanding advanced materials, has announced that Dr. Eric M.V. Hoek, an Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Henry Samueli Fellow at the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science, has been selected to receive a research grant from QuantumSphere to evaluate the use of QSI nanoparticles in water filtration applications.
Anti-microbial nanoparticles, such as silver, already have shown great utility in the healthcare and clothing industries, and have the potential to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of water purification. Ongoing research at UCLA suggests integration of certain nanoparticles into Hoek’s nanocomposite membranes (now under license from UCLA to NanoH2O, LLC) can lead to more efficient and effective water filtration and desalination processes. Prof. Hoek and Dr. Asim K. Ghosh, a postdoctoral fellow in Hoek’s research group at UCLA, will explore the use of QuantumSphere’s anti-microbial nanoparticles in nanocomposite membranes designed for water filtration applications.
Dr. Hoek’s work was recently profiled by CNET News writer, Michael Kanellos. The November 2006 article describes how many scientists believe there will be a deficit of potable water in the relatively near future. With significant growth in the global population over the last century, water consumption has increased dramatically. Many third world countries lack the infrastructure and controls to produce adequate amounts of potable water, causing demand to significantly surpass supply. Lack of safe drinking water increases the likelihood of diseases, impedes economic growth, and causes crop yields to shrink, according to some researchers.
Efficient water purification is a hot research topic in governmental, corporate and academic labs. New purification plants are being planned or are under construction in India, Europe, Australia and the U.S., among other regions. A $250 million plant that will ultimately churn out 100 million cubic meters of water annually for human consumption opened in Ashkelon in southern Israel in August and is the largest of its kind in the world. In Singapore, the government has begun a program of turning wastewater into drinking water in its euphemistically named NEWater project. NEWater will constitute 2.5 percent of the country’s potable water by 2011.
Earlier this year, QuantumSphere initiated a call for research grant proposals to partner with universities and sponsor individual or group research through prototype phase in an effort to accelerate validation and commercialization of these advanced materials in consumer and industrial applications and generate licensing rights from the University. The call for proposals was open to graduate and postdoctoral students involved in full-time research within the University of California system, Caltech, Stanford and USC during the 2006/07 academic year. This is the second project that QuantumSphere has funded.
“UCLA Engineering has one of the world’s most renowned academic centers for water research and we are very excited to be working on such a pervasive topic with Professor Hoek and his team,” stated Kevin Maloney, CEO, QuantumSphere, Inc. “Dr. Hoek has clearly demonstrated there is a global market need and is developing an economically and scientifically viable solution incorporating QSI-Nano® metals, leveraging his personal, as well as his team’s, expertise in membranes, nanotechnology, and water purification. Most importantly, the team’s proposal outlined a solid path to the validation and development of membranes that can be manufactured and used in near-term consumer and industrial applications. We are honored to be working with a global leader in water research, and look forward to a fruitful partnership that will accelerate the technology out of the university lab and into commercial use.”
Dr. Hoek stated, “There is renewed interest in solutions for water purification, realizing that not only are we running out of fresh water, but the current technology has some significant limitations. We are pleased to be working with QuantumSphere on this groundbreaking research and look forward to seeing our research put into practice in the near future.”
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