UC Davis professor of civil and environmental engineering Bassam Younis has developed a more effective UltraV technology.
An improved version of existing ultraviolet technology may be used to keep our swimming pools and hot tubs clean instead of chlorine in the near future.
“It is easy to set up, much easier to maintain because everything is accessible, and has low energy costs. [It] doesn’t require enormous infrastructure we see with the existing ultraviolet technology,” said Younis regarding the recently built UltraV 2.0 model.
Most consumers use chlorine, which has detrimental effects on skin, eyes and other organic material in the environment. UltraV 2.0 can alleviate these negative impacts and produce safer water for all kinds of uses from drinking to gardening.
The need to refine current ultraviolet technology became necessary because it was not accessible for the everyday user. The cost of energy, difficulties in disposing mercury and maintenance of the product itself have deterred consumers from purchasing the existing product.
Younis’ model of this ultraviolet technology, now referred to as UltraV 2.0, accounts for the disadvantages posed by other UV technologies.
This new model is a cylinder that has xenon lamps that do not touch the water unlike previous structures, which reduced algae build-up. It also does not contain the harmful chemical agent mercury. More importantly, the unique design of UltraV 2.0 makes it 1000 times more energy efficient.
“The water travels through a vortex of the cylinder while radiation is disrupting the DNA of the pathogens, taking away their ability to reproduce. If the pathogens cannot reproduce, they cannot form a colony in our bodies, therefore they cannot harm us,” said Younis. “Basically, it is not a purification method, it is a disinfection method, to stop it from coming back to harm you later.”
Not only can UltraV be used in swimming pools to disinfect water from unsafe pathogens, but it can be utilized in horticulture, dairy farms and agriculture.
UCD Energy Efficiency Center connected Younis with a team of graduate students involved in engineering and business management that are working to bring his technology to the market. At the Big Bang Business Plan Competition at the University of California this past May, UltraV won first prize receiving $15,000 to help fund initial marketing of the product.
Considering California’s water woes, Younis believes that UltraV 2.0 “is a very small solution to a very big problem.”
The UltraV 2.0 model will be tested beginning next year at the UCD Waste Water Management Facility.
SRI RAMESH can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.