Nano@Tech Spring 2023 Series | LEEFT with Nano for Water Disinfection

Featuring Xing Xie, Assistant Professor and Carlton S. Wilder Junior Professor School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Georgia Tech

Abstract: Water is a basic human need. Nevertheless, more than 10% of the world’s population lacks access to safe drinking water. An effective water disinfection method is still not readily accessible to these people. In developed urban areas, water is typically disinfected in a centralized facility through chlorine-based methods that inevitably generates harmful disinfection byproducts. In addition, current water disinfection systems are vulnerable to natural disasters. Next-generation water disinfection should minimize the use of chemicals, the consumption of energy, and the impact on the environment, while having high resilience for different application scenarios. The recently developed water disinfection approach based on locally enhanced electric field treatment (LEEFT) has a great potential to transform current water disinfection strategies and systems. The LEEFT is a physical treatment process that aims to utilize a strong electric field to disrupt cell membranes and thus inactivate pathogens. The electrodes installed in a LEEFT device are typically modified with one-dimensional nanostructures, such that the electric field is greatly enhanced locally near the tips of the nanostructures. LEEFT can potentially be applicable at all scales, from portable devices to point-of-use household units and from distributed community-scale treatment clusters to centralized treatment plants. This talk will cover the recent progress on the development of the LEEFT technology.

Bio: Xing Xie is an assistant professor and the Carlton S. Wilder Junior Professor in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Prior to joining Georgia Tech, he was a postdoc at Caltech. He received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in environmental science and engineering from Tsinghua. He received a second M.S. in materials science and engineering and a Ph.D. in civil and environmental engineering from Stanford. Xie’s research interests center around the applications of environmental biotechnology and materials science at the nexus of water and energy. He has worked on many projects related to water treatment and reuse, pollutant detection and quantification, and energy and resource recovery. He has published more than 80 peer-reviewed articles in leading journals, including PNAS, Nature Communications, Environmental Science & Technology, and Energy & Environmental Science. His work has been cited over 8000 times with an H-index of 33. Xie received the CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation in 2019, the Sustainable Nanotechnology Organization Emerging Investigator Award in 2020, and the Excellence in Environmental Engineering and Science Honor Award from the American Academy of Environmental Engineers & Scientists in 2021.

A boxed lunch will be served on a first come, first served basis.