Little Black Chip

Blog 5

This little black chip could disinfect water in only 20 minutes according to This “nanostructured device” ( would use the sun to aid in disinfection of water. This little chip could save many hours of having to boil water in order to disinfect it. Could this be a practical solution? The development of this technology could revolutionize third-world countries by allowing for access to clean water decreasing water borne diseases but this chip fails to deliver if it is a practical solution for world-wise use. It could however have some practical means in the build environment.


The goal of this technology is to eliminate the need to boil water for use. Now this sort of device would be ground-breaking because it would eliminate the need to use resources to boil the water. What makes this so special is that in scenarios where heating water is not an option, this chip could help. This chip works by using sunlight to activate hydrogen peroxide within the chip to kill bacteria.  The big downside to this technology on the other hand is that at this current state, the chip does not remove chemical pollutants. This is a significant factor in the practicality of the chip.


Although the material has its downsides, I believe it could have some practical uses in the architectural field. I imagine once this chip is fully developed multiple chips could line the inside of a swimming pool or even a holding tank of fresh water. Of course this material is nowhere near the potential it could serve, so it would be best to hold some optimism for the material, but thinking critically about it could help further understand if it is a practical solution. Supporting through critique and analysis is how we better understand future technologies in our world.


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  1. haylee430

    Haylee Thomas-Kuhlmann (Post 6)

    I think this is an amazing idea but is underdeveloped. I noticed that there was no mention of how long these small cubes last or if they can be used over and over again. If they only have a one-time use, then it really wouldn’t make sense to use these in any building structures. However, if they can be used over and over again small pools with this cube could be built. Even small houses with the rain gutters consisting of this material could help those with contaminated water collect clean water.

    It was also mentioned that though it does disinfect the water it does not clean the chemical pollutants that could be found in water. I think that in countries that are not as technologically advanced as us that wouldn’t be an issue and having disinfected water would be more important. But if someone was living in the city and would like to have a renewable water source then this would be an issue. The cube could possible do more than just disinfect in the future and as technology grows this could be a possibility.

    One last thing that I noticed was the size of this device. In the future it would be hard to build with this material because of its super small size. In order to build a pool, thousands, if not millions, of these cube would need to be used. The cost would also be an issue, if each of these cubes cost a lot and many would need to be used to make a structure it wouldn’t make sense for third world countries.

    This seems like an amazing idea that is still being developed and many questions need to be answered but overall has a great application and could help people around the world!

  2. Much of the design specifics are yet to be determined, so yes, the chip is underdeveloped. and yes, the article has no mention of how long the last or even the size of the chip. It seems it is still in the developmental stage.

    I’m sure they will keep looking for new ways to improve on its ability to clean chemicals and bacteria,

    As far as the logistics and practicalities go, I am not sure how feasible this chip is. It is however promising in the means of innovation and is the step in the right direction to help solve the clean water issues of other countries.

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