Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 24, Issue 30, pp 23423–23435 | Cite as

Nanotechnology and water purification: Indian know-how and challenges

  • Madhulika Bhati
  • Radhika Rai
Trend Editorial


Water contamination being ubiquitous problem across the world. A significant strata of population worldwide are still struggling to get drinkable water. This demand to develop technologies to provide clean water at affordable price is unveiling the need of rigorous research in this area. There are several technologies available for removal of persistent as well as emerging pollutants from water. Nanotechnology-based technology are providing the promising solution because of its extraordinary characteristics like large surface area, low cost maintenance and reuse, etc. During the past decade, there is an advancement in the field of nanotechnology and diligent efforts of researchers in achieving milestones in developing nanosorbents, nanostructured catalytic membranes, efficient photo catalysts, bioactive nanoparticles and new filtration regime. This article gives an overview of nanotechnology applications in water purification in India with an attempt to ponder indigenous technologies for implementation. A bibliometric approach is applied to bring the indigenous technologies available. In addition, we discuss some challenges associated with the development of convincing material and building water processing plants for purification of the wastewater.


Nanotechnology Water purification Patents India Water and wastewater 


  1. Agarwal A, Joshi H (2010) Application of nanotechnology in the remediation of contaminated groundwater: a short review. Recent Res Sci Technol 2(6):51–57 Google Scholar
  2. Alarcon-Herrera, MT, MartIn-Dominguez IR, Trejo-Vázquez R, & Rodriguez-Dozal S (2001). Well water fluoride, dental fluorosis, and bone fractures in the Guadiana Valley of Mexico. Fluoride, 34(2), 139–149.
  3. Balasubramaniam H (2014) Treating India’s wastewater: why inaction is no longer an option Retrieved from
  4. Biswal M, Banerjee A, Ogale SB (2015) Electronically conducting carbon and carbon-based material by pyrolysis of dead leaves and other similar natural waste, US9212285. New Delhi, IN Google Scholar
  5. Blokker EM, van de Ven BM de Jongh CM, & Slaats PN (2013). Health implications of PAH release from coated cast iron drinking water distribution systems in the Netherlands. Environ Health Perspect, 121(5), 600.
  6. Central water commission, Report (2015) Water resources Information system, directorate information system organisation water planning & projects wing Accessed 21 Nov 2016 Retrieved from
  7. Deb N (2015) Metal nanoparticles and methods for their preparation and use, US2015375302. Calcutta, IN Google Scholar
  8. Environmental Performance Index (2016), Accessed on March 07, 2017
  9. Fan AM, Steinberg VE (1996) Health implications of nitrate and nitrite in drinking water: an update on methemoglobinemia occurrence and reproductive and developmental toxicity. Regul Toxicol Pharmacol 23(1):35–43 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Gehrke I, Geiser A, Somborn-Schulz A (2015) Innovations in nanotechnology for water treatment. Nanotechnol Sci Appl 8:1–17. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Guin D, Ogale SB, Singh P (2015) Council of Scientific and Industrial Research. WO2015140814. New Delhi: IN.
  12. Gujjarahalli C, Basappa N (2014) Method of preparing nanocrystalline mgo and zno products and using same for removing fluoride and arsenic from contaminated water, IN258833. New Delhi, IN Google Scholar
  13. Khan AE, Ireson A, Kovats S, Mojumder SK, Khusru A, Rahman A, Vineis P (2011) Drinking water salinity and maternal health in coastal Bangladesh: implications of climate change. Environ Health Perspect 119(9):1328 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Ludlow M, Luxton G, Mathew T (2007) Effects of fluoridation of community water supplies for people with chronic kidney disease. Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation 22(10):2763–2767 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Maparu AK, Rai B (2016) Visible light responsive doped titania photocatalytic nanoparticles and process for their synthesis, US 9352302. Maharashtra, IN Google Scholar
  16. Njeze GE, Dilibe U, Ilo C (2014) Nitrate and drinking water from private wells: will there be an epidemic of cancers of the digestive tract, urinary bladder and thyroid? Niger J Clin Pract 17(2):178–182 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. NRDWP, Water QM & Surveillance, format E30-month wise bacteriological contaminated sources (2015a-2016)
  18. NRDWP, Water QM & Surveillance, format E6- state quality profile for lab testing (2015b-2016)
  19. Poddar P, Biswas A (2016) Novel titanium dioxide - graphene quantum dots (TiO2-gqds) hybrid multifunctional material and preparation thereof, WO2016098127. New Delhi, IN Google Scholar
  20. Pradeep T, (2016) A method to produce supported noble metal nanoparticles in commercial quantities for drinking water purification, IN277112. Madras, Hyderabad: IN.
  21. Rajan CS (2011) Nanotechnology in groundwater remediation. International Journal of Environmental Science and Development 2(3):40–45 Retrieved from
  22. Research AG (2011) Water and wastewater treatment opportunity in India: An Overview Retrieved from
  23. Roy S, Bhaskar A (2012) A process for removal of arsenic from arsenic-contaminated water using nanostructured porous alumina powder as absorptive media, IN254007. New Delhi, IN Google Scholar
  24. Saini P, Arora M, Kotnala RK, Barala SK, Pant RP, Puri C (2015) Magnetic nanoparticles decorated activated carbon nanocomposites for purification of water, WO2015044964. New Delhi, IN Google Scholar
  25. Schumacher HR (1964) Hemochromatosis and arthritis. Arthritis & Rheumatology 7(1):41–50 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Shannon AM et al (2008) Science and technology for water purification in the coming decades, review. Nature, Vol 452.
  27. Sharma A, Verma N, Sharma AK (2013) Bi-metal nanoadsorbents and methods for their preparation and use, US2013319946. Kanpur: IN
  28.  Shekhar, S. (2015) Presentation on Ministry of Water Resources, RD & GR: presented before new Secretary (WR, RD & GR).
  29. Smith AH, Lingas EO, Rahman M (2000) Contamination of drinking-water by arsenic in Bangladesh: a public health emergency. Bull World Health Organ 78(9):1093–1103 Google Scholar
  30. Sreekumaran NA, Pradeep T (2005) Adsorbent composition, a device and a method for decontaminating water containing pesticides, WO2005070534. Madras, IN Google Scholar
  31. Terblanche APS (1991) Health hazards of nitrate in drinking water. Water S A 17(1):77–82 Google Scholar
  32. UNICEF (2010) Diarrhoea: why children are still dying and what can be done Retrieved from
  33. WHO/UNICEF, JMP (2017) India: estimates on the use of water sources and sanitation facilities (1980 -2015).

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Institute of Science, Technology and Development Studies [CSIR-NISTADS]New DelhiIndia

Personalised recommendations