Manta rays strain their tiny food from mouthfuls of seawater in a novel way that could hold the key to better filtration in a variety of commercial applications, new research by Oregon State University shows.
Published today in Science Advances, the findings explain that manta rays filter zooplankton, mesoplankton and microcrustaceans with an apparatus different from anything previously seen in any biological or industrial system.
“The most common type of filter is a sieve filter, where a particle-containing fluid is passed through a membrane with pores smaller than the particles,” said study co-author Jim Strother, assistant professor of integrative biology in the OSU College of Science.
Sieve filters include everything from a kitchen colander that strains pasta to membrane filters that produce ultrapure water. Other filter mechanisms are hydrosol filtration, such as the fiber filters in HVAC systems, and cyclonic filtration, used in bagless vacuum cleaners.
“There are lots of different types of filters used for many purposes worldwide, but they’re all based on just a few fundamental mechanisms,” said Strother, who collaborated with corresponding author Misty Paig-Tran and Raj Divi of Cal State Fullerton.
Manta rays, close relatives of sharks that can measure more than 20 feet across, eat by bringing plankton-rich water into their mouths as they swim. They filter and ingest the plankton and then flush the remaining water out their gill slits.
Many filtration systems are prone to clogging as they collect whatever they’re filtering out, but manta rays use arrays of leaf-like lobes to bounce food particles away from the filter.
Water passing over the lobes creates a complex pattern of swirling eddies, and food particles in the flow hit the lobes and move away. The setup allows the fish to retain food organisms much smaller than the pores.
“Manta rays appear to utilize a novel mechanism for filtering particles out of fluids,” Strother said. “Their filtering apparatus has a special structure that causes plankton particles to ricochet off the filter and become concentrated in the mouth cavity, so the fish can then ingest them.”
Since the particles are repelled by the filter but not captured, the filter has several highly desirable properties, including that it can be operated at high flow rates and is extremely resistant to clogging.
“This paper establishes the basic mechanism, and we are currently looking at whether we can adapt this mechanism for engineered systems,” Strother said. “For example, one future direction is exploring whether this can be applied to wastewater treatment in order to address the emerging threat from microplastics pollution.”
The Latest on: Water filtration
via Google News
The Latest on: Water filtration
- Newark Sued over Handling of Lead-Contaminated Water on December 16, 2018 at 8:44 pm
Natural Resources Defense Council asks federal judge to force the city to immediately give water filters to East Ward residents Tests have shown elevated levels of lead in Newark homes once the water ... […]
- WATER QUALITY: Impaired Bay suffers with stormwater runoff on December 16, 2018 at 6:54 am
“Oysters are filter feeders,” she said. “They suck in water and filter out excess nutrients and particles in the water column. An adult oyster can filter up to 50 gallons of water per day.” For many p... […]
- Newark residents sue city over handling of lead-contaminated water on December 14, 2018 at 3:36 pm
The Natural Resources Defense Council is suing the city over lead in the water. “At that point, the city should have started this filter distribution program, at a minimum, and alerted people, and bee... […]
- Clean water for Christmas on December 14, 2018 at 2:46 pm
"That’s gonna be great. I won’t be having to buy a water filter every couple of years because the thing would fill up with silt." For decades, Luce and his wife have been forced to live with tap water ... […]
- McDaniel-Hale: Elgin right to offer options for getting rid of lead water pipes; residents need to act on December 14, 2018 at 9:56 am
Option three would allow homeowners to opt out of replacing their pipes if they agree to use water filters or buy bottled water for two years during which time their water would be tested for lead. Th... […]
- How to buy a water filter that actually filters our your local contaminants on December 14, 2018 at 2:00 am
It’s very possible there are more unpleasant things in your tap water than you realize. Government watchdogs are slow to find them, and even when they do, it’s often too late. Even the fastest municip... […]
- For the Ninth Time This Year, a Bear or Something Pooped in Portland’s Water Supply on December 13, 2018 at 5:15 pm
Portland Water Bureau is currently working to install a filtration system by Sept. 2027 to comply with Oregon Health Authority guidelines. Heaton says the location of the new filtration plant was appr... […]
- Newark was warned about lead water problems months before it told residents on December 13, 2018 at 4:52 am
It wasn’t until October that Newark acknowledged problems with corrosion control at its Pequannock plant and announced it was distributing 40,000 water filters to residents. "In October, we found it w... […]
- Charcoal Water Filters Market Development, Market Trends, Key Driven Factors, Segmentation and Forecast To 2022 on December 13, 2018 at 3:00 am
The report presents a detailed study of Charcoal Water Filters Market, covering both global and regional markets. It aims to give an appropriate depiction of the market, its trends, perspectives and o... […]
via Bing News