Modern day-technologies have come as far as being able to detect water pollution in large scales. Filtering lakes and rivers, on the other hand, is a different story. Researchers at the Edith Cowan University in Australia have recently come up with a potential solution. By modifying the atomic structure of iron, they created a metal that can purify water in minutes.
Associate Professor Laichang Zhang from ECU’s School of Engineering was able to change the atomic structure of iron to form what is known as metallic glass.
A thin strip of the iron-based metallic glass… can remove impurities such as dyes or heavy metals from even highly polluted water in just minutes.
The material is not only cheaper to produce — it doesn’t create iron sludge, which iron powder does. The metallic glass is also reusable up to 20 times, whereas most wastewater treatments are disposed of immediately. Apparently, the product is already in demand.
“We have already had significant interest from companies in both China and Australia who are keen to work with us to develop this technology, including Ausino Drilling Services, whose clients include Rio Tinto and the Aluminum Corporation of China.”
Researchers are targeting use towards the mining and textile industries, both of which produce large amounts of water. Now that’s rock and roll — or should I say heavy metal?