Researchers at the Rice Univeristy and Monash University in Melbourne, Australia have been playing in their sandboxes, but instead of building castles, they may have stumbled upon a novel way to solve the global need for clean water. Their key discovery was to combine together two materials that have previously been used for water purification; sand, used for centuries, and a graphite compound. The study published in the American Chemical Society journal of Applied Sciences and Materials, showed that running water through coarse sand coated with a carbon graphite oxide allowed the water to filter easily through the sand while removing many more pollutants than just using sand alone. Their recipe seems simple enough – combine graphite oxide, water and sand and heat the mixture to obtain this “Super Sand.” By far the biggest benefit of this discovery is its low cost, as the process does not require a specialized environment and graphite could even be sourced from the mineral waste from mines. The consequences could be far reaching giving access to clean drinking water to even the smallest villages in Africa or India.
Read more at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-13895077
(image from BBC)