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  1. Abstract

    Pathogen contamination of water has a massive impact on global human health. In particular, viruses pose unique challenges to water treatment techniques due to their small size and presence in water as both individual virions and when absorbed onto larger particles. Low-energy water treatment processes such as media filtration are not capable of completely removing viruses owing to their small size. Hence, less sustainable processes with high chemical or energy consumption such as chemical disinfection, ultraviolet irradiation, and membrane filtration are usually required. To overcome high energy and/or chemical requirements for virus treatment, designs for sustainable fiber filters fabricated from minimally processed natural materials for efficient virus (MS2) and bacteria (E. coli) removal are presented in this work. These filters were created by functionalizing readily accessible natural fibers including cotton, silk, and flax with a simple aqueous extract containing cationic proteins fromMoringa oleiferaseeds. The proposed filters offer a comprehensive low cost, low energy, and low environmental impact solution for pathogen removal from water with removals of >7log10(99.99999%) for viruses and bacteria.

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