The filtration technique can transform highly contaminated water into very clean water, with no water wastage.
The technology was developed by Sanjiv Sambandan of the Flexible Electronics Lab, Department of Instrumentation and Applied Physics and his team at the Indian Institute of Science. It won the Pitch Fest at Google Zurich, he said.
The system is membrane-less, chemical-free and scalable. It can be upgraded from a hand-held water bottle to large community based system.
It can also be used as a pre-filter for membrane based purifiers thereby improving the lifetime of the membranes, according to Sambandan.
The technology uses an electric field to polarise tiny impurities and cluster them into larger chunks that can then be removed by low cost meshes and if needed, these meshes can be cleaned and re-used.
With just 100 mW (Milliwatt) of power needed for purifying one litre of very poor quality water, the system is highly efficient.
"This implies that the hand-held bottle purifier can be powered by a hand-crank, battery or solar cell. This can be useful for people living in remote areas, people stuck in disaster hit areas, and the army," he said.
Now, the researchers are planning field tests for a community based water purification system with the required automation in place.