Michigan Engineering professor John Foster is working on a method to purify water with the fourth state of matter – plasma. Foster hopes his new technology, which produces reactive radicals that can attack organic contaminants such as pesticides and pharmaceuticals, will help solve a problem not currently being addressed in conventional treatment methods that rely on filtration and chlorine. Foster’s technology, originally envisioned as a point-of-use system for underdeveloped countries, could be scaled up to a larger mechanism that would be implemented as a stage in the conventional treatment process.
About the Professor
John Foster is an Associate Professor of Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Sciences at the University of Michigan College of Engineering. His research interests include low-temperature plasma science including the areas of propulsion plasmas, environmental plasmas, space and atmospheric plasma phenomena, energy conversion plasmas and processing plasmas.