This paper from the Meridian Institute describes a range of well-known and field-tested conventional approaches to removing contaminants from water as well as the current crop of nanotechnologies that could enhance existing — or develop new — water treatment technologies.

For each approach or potential product the authors give a short description of what it is and who has developed it, and report on the product's effectiveness in removing contaminants, the amount of water it can treat, and its cost and ease of use. They also include summary comparative charts of conventional versus nano-based treatments.

Conventional approaches covered include various types of filters, ultraviolet radiation, chemical treatment and desalination. Nano-based water treatments covered include carbon nanotube-based technologies, nanofiltration membranes and devices, nanoporous materials and clays, zeolites, nanocatalysts and magnetic nanoparticles.