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Researchers Levitate Water Droplets To Improve Contaminant Detection

Creation Date Wednesday, 03 October 2018.

EurekAlert released an article on May 3, which talks about water levitation as a means to improve contaminant detection. Using soundwaves to levitate water droplets, this process may open new doors of techniques leading to on-site, real-time detection of heavy metal contaminants like mercury and lead.

Research team leader Victor Contreras admitted that before all this came into fruition, water samples were subjected to specialized laboratory analysis, which is both complicated and expensive. Because heavy metal contaminants pose a legitimate threat to human health and the environment, Contreras felt the necessity to research, develop, and introduce a simpler approach to detect small amounts of heavy metal contaminants in water.

Sound waves were deduced as the key component in making water levitation possible. They produce force levels that are enough to hamper gravity, allowing the water droplet to remain suspended in air. Additionally, sound waves help keep essential elements intact while at the same time prevent the water droplet from being contaminated. Best of all, no form of electric or magnetic response from the sample is required to achieve levitation; thus making it simpler and inexpensive compared to specialized water analysis.

In line with discovering water levitation, Contreras’ research team were able to devise a new approach to detect the presence of heavy metal contaminants in levitating water droplets referred to as “Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS)”. LIBS exposes the sample to a high-energy laser pulse, in turn vaporizing the material and generates plasma. Plasma emits light containing the sample’s atomic fingerprints, which helps identify all contaminants present in the sample.

Supplementary details regarding these newly-introduced water contaminant detection techniques are contained in this article.

Victor Contreras introduced water droplet levitation and LIBS to aid agricultural, pharmaceutical, and water purification laboratories with monitoring and eliminating water contaminants in ways that are accessible and affordable. Aqua Solutions upholds a similar vision, by providing you with water purification systems that generate excellent results without breaking the bank. Discover our vast selection of quality yet affordable systems by visiting