Department of Materials Science and Engineering
Using pottery clay, porous ceramic stones were molded and then decorated with copper sub-microparticles inside the pores. Copper added antimicrobial functionality to the clay-based ceramic and showed ability in disinfecting water. Populations of both Staphylococcus aureus and Klebsiella pneumoniae in contaminated water were reduced by >99.9% in 3 h when exposed to an antimicrobial stone. This antimicrobial performance is attributed to a slow release of copper into water at both room and elevated temperatures. Copper is leached by water to produce ion concentrations in water at a level of 0.05–0.20 ppm after 24 to 72 h immersion tests. This concentration is reproducible over a number of cycles >400. To our knowledge, this is the first formulation of copper sub-microparticles inside the porous structure of commercial-sized ceramic stones that can disinfect bacteria-contaminated water over a period of at least several months.
Drelich, A. J.,
Novel durable antimicrobial ceramic with embedded copper sub-microparticles for a steady-state release of copper ions.
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