A team of international researchers have found a new way to purify water in the developing world. It’s a filter made of plasma-charged carbon nano-tubes that can easily filter out harmful contaminants and even remove salt from otherwise undrinkable briny water. The filters are small — easy to integrate into a teapot-sized portable water purifier. For poor or remote villages, these devices would be much more practical than building a large-scale purification plant, which would require a large amount of energy and high labor costs to keep running.
These new filters have some other benefits as well. Rather than requiring a continuous power supply, they’re rechargeable, making them perfect for locations without access to electricity. The filters are also incredibly versatile and able to filter out a variety of contaminants, including potentially harmful microorganisms — something other desalination systems can’t do.
Now that scientists have proven the method is effective, they’re working on investigating other nanomaterials, in the hopes of creating denser and stronger filters. The complete study has been published in the journal Nature Communications.