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
- Engineers at water filtration plants asked to submit reportson November 21, 2019 at 5:41 pm
After a report revealed that tap water supplied to nearly 15 lakh population in Jammu has failed quality parameters, the Public Health Engineering (PHE) Department has directed all filtration plants ...
- State health department mandate adds pressure to East Lyme water projecton November 21, 2019 at 5:38 pm
East Lyme — Town officials hoping to receive nearly $1 million in additional funding for a planned well filtration project after bids came in higher than expected are facing additional pressure after ...
- Water, Out of Thin Airon November 21, 2019 at 4:04 pm
The machine, which looks like an office water cooler, pulls moisture from ambient air to create drinkable water through a patented filtration process, much like a fancier dehumidifier. One GENNY unit ...
- ITC Grants Electrolux Request for Ban on Counterfeit and Infringing Water Filterson November 21, 2019 at 4:02 pm
The U.S. International Trade Commission ("ITC") issued an order on November 12, 2019 banning the importation of refrigerator water filters that infringed patents that Electrolux Home Products, Inc.
- Excessive lead found in Essexville water, free filters offeredon November 21, 2019 at 2:38 pm
MI — Excessive lead levels detected in Essexville’s water system prompted city officials and the Bay County Health Department to provide lead-reducing water filters to residents. The filters are free ...
- Delhi water quality row: RO manufacturers move SC against ban on RO filters by NGTon November 21, 2019 at 10:52 am
Even as the political battle over Delhi's water woes continues, a trade organisation of Reverse Osmosis (RO) purifier makers has knocked on the doors of the Supreme Court against a ban on use of RO ...
- Protecting Your Workers from Contaminated Drinking Wateron November 21, 2019 at 5:24 am
5. All water filters remove lead False: Many common filters are only designed to remove chlorine in order to improve taste, which means lead can still be present in filtered water. When purchasing a ...
- Portland City Council Poses Questions To Water Bureau In Run Up To Water Filtration Plant Voteon November 20, 2019 at 3:15 pm
Commissioners on Portland’s City Council have lingering questions ahead of next week’s vote on a design contract for a controversial proposed water filtration plant. Wednesday’s City Hall meeting gave ...
- Cops warn of lead water testing scam charging $12K for filterson November 20, 2019 at 3:04 pm
The Belleville Police Department is warning residents to watch out for scammers peddling water filters that cost as much as $12,000. The town is grappling with its own water crisis after tap water ...
via Bing News