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Nano Technology may make cleaning Toilets a thing of the Past

February 7th, 2006

Nano Technology may make cleaning Toilets a thing of the Past


Researchers from the University of New South Wales, Australia, are developing a coating that may make cleaning bathrooms less of a chore.

The lead researchers, Professors Rose Amal and Michael Brungs of the ARC Centre for Functional Nanomaterials, are hoping to apply a  tiny coating  of titanium dioxide particles to keep the toilets clean.  Currently titanium dioxide is being used on outdoor items like self-cleaning windows.

How does it work?  According to the scientists, ultraviolet light below a specific wavelength causes electrons to excite, and this gives the effects of oxidation.  This oxidation disinfects better than commercial bleach.  It makes it better for sanitation as it is continually cleans, instead of waiting for the janitor.


To further keep the bathroom clean, nanoparticles kill the microbes and removes organic compounds.  The titanium dioxide contains ‘superhydrophilicity’.   Superhydrophilicity makes it so that liquid droplets do not form on the surface.  It makes the liquid run off, washing the toilet in the process.

The researchers are faced with one dilemma:  making the titanium dioxide coating work indoors.  The coating is activated by ultraviolet sunlight, and they will need to be able to activate the titanium dioxide with indoor lighting.  They are trying to modify the chemical compound by adding other elements like iron or nitrogen so it can use light of a longer wavelength.


Good news:  Currently the researcher’s have been able to get glass coated with the new nanoparticles to kill Escherichia coli using light from an indoor lamp.  They have done this in lab-trials .

"If you've got this on tiles or shower screens you don't need so many chemical agents," says Professor Amal.

As exciting as this research project is, and the potential for a self-cleaning bathroom, at this time it is currently only in development.  The researchers estimate it will take about a year before it can be incorporated into any manufacturing test runs.  I can hardly wait for the day it becomes available for the masses.  It would be great for use in hospitals and public bathrooms.  It would be splendid to have a clean bathroom that would clean itself.

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By Nicole Wilson
Best Syndication Staff Writer


Keywords and misspellings:  nanotechnology nano-technologies photonics nano-particles nano-material ulta violit rays cleaning surfase tolets bath rooms

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Copyright 2005 Best Syndication                                            Last Updated Saturday, July 10, 2010 09:47 PM