Iron Filter a Standout Innovation

A University of Delaware technology for safeguarding drinking water is among the top innovations for 2007, according to NASA Tech Briefs magazine (

The nonchlorine-based technology was developed by Yan Jin and Pei Chiu, UD researchers.

Jin, a professor of environmental soil physics in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, and Chiu, an associate professor of civil and environmental engineering in the College of Engineering, use highly reactive iron in a water-filtering process to deliver a chemical “knock-out punch” to a host of pathogens, from E. coli to rotavirus. The technology can remove harmful microorganisms from drinking water, including 99.999 percent of viruses.

In addition to UD's technology, the NASA article highlights wireless power transfer by scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, free radical production as a pathway for “superbug” infections from Boston University, paper batteries made by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, use of electric pulses to destroy cancer cells by the University of California at Berkeley, self-healing materials that mimic human skin created by University of Illinois scientists, and a new device made for screening toxic materials by Sandia National Laboratories.

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