New Technology Uses Plasma to Purify Water

John Foster, an associate professor of nuclear engineering and radiological sciences at the University of Michigan, is working on a method to purify water with the fourth state of matter - plasma. Foster hopes his new technology, which produces reactive radicals that can attack organic contaminants such as pesticides and pharmaceuticals, will help solve a problem not currently being addressed in conventional treatment methods that rely on filtration and chlorine. Originally envisioned as a point-of-use system for underdeveloped countries, this new technology could be scaled up to a larger mechanism that would be implemented as a stage in the conventional treatment process.