Next Generation Led-Chemical Home Drinking Water Purifier For Removal Of Organic Contaminants, Pathogens And Lead

Tech ID: 33298 / UC Case 2021-833-0

Full Description


Access to safe water and sanitation contributes to improved health and helps prevent the spread of infectious disease. Climate impact and freshwater scarcity pose an increasing challenge to access safe, clean water and will only exacerbate in the future. Furthermore, aging public water infrastructure, new pollutants of concern (for example, viruses, bacteria and an ever increasing list of toxic chemicals) and increasing household numbers require more distributed drinking water treatment. Current solutions are inadequate in that, they are:

  • Not effective in the removal of contaminants, pathogens or metals and organics.
  • Generate more secondary wastewater than treated water.
  • Bulky and require significant capital costs and maintenance expenses.


Researchers led by Prof. Haizhou Liu have invented a next generation, light-emitting diode (LED) based chemical water purifier. The technology utilizes LED-based ultraviolet light and a photosensitizing chemical to disinfect and treat water, followed by a media filtration unit. UV light together with catalyst precursors is used to produce a group of photocatalysts (i.e., radicals) which include hydroxyl ion (OH-), free chlorine ion (Cl-), chlorine dimer (Cl2-) and amino radicals (NH2-). These radicals are reactive chemical species that attack pathogens, organic contaminants and inorganic contaminants.

Results from experimental testing of this innovative water purification system

Contaminant CategoryModel ContaminantConcentration in feed waterConcentration in treated waterRemoval Percentage 
 PathogensPathogenic E. coli strain O157-H7 5 x 104 cells/mL (5 ± 2.5) x 102 cells/mL99 ± 0.5% 
 Organic Contaminant1.4-dioxane  20 µg/L 0.6 ± 0.2 µg/L97 ± 1% 
 Inorganic ContaminantLead 102 µg/L1.6 ± 1.1 µg/L 98.5 ± 1.1% 


  • Efficient, reliable and affordable - disinfects nearly 100% of all contaminants including harmful organic and inorganic chemicals and pathogens while retaining beneficial minerals.
  • Consumes only a fraction of energy, generates no heat and requires minimal maintenance.
  • Generates no wastewater and achieves high flow rates.
  • End product is dissolved oxygen which helps to improve the taste of water.

Suggested uses

  • Point of use, residential and commercial drinking water system.
  • Municipal water treatment.
  • Water recycling and reuse.

State Of Development

  • The inventors have moved from an experimental stage to the development of a working prototype.

Inventor Information

Patent Status

Country Type Number Dated Case
Patent Cooperation Treaty Published Application WO 2023/081206 05/11/2023 2021-833


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Other Information


lead removal, water treatment, drinking water, contaminants, PoU filter, UV

Categorized As