Australian scientists on Friday said they have developed a nano-filter that can clean contaminated water 100 times faster than the current technology, pointing to better access to the crucial resource worldwide.
The filter removes oils and heavy metals including lead from water via an alloy that combines gallium-based liquid metals with aluminium, helping to absorb the contaminants with aluminium oxide compounds, RMIT University said in a statement about the innovation that also involved researchers from the University of New South Wales, reports Xinhua news agency.
Water contamination remains a significant challenge globally, with one in nine people without access to clean water close to home, and heavy metal contamination “causes serious health problems and children are particularly vulnerable”, RMIT researcher Ali Zavabeti said.
“Our new nano-filter is sustainable, environmentally-friendly, scalable and low cost,” said Zavabeti, whose team’s findings were published in the Advanced Functional Materials scientific journal.
“Previous research has already shown the materials we used are effective in absorbing contaminants like mercury, sulphates and phosphates. With further development and commercial support, this new nano-filter could be a cheap and ultra-fast solution to the problem of dirty water.”