World-First Filtration System to Remove Toxic “Forever Chemicals” From Drinking Water in Seconds

By: | January 27th, 2023

PFAS (per-and-poly-fluoroalkyl substances) are a family of thousands of human-made substances – nicknamed “forever chemicals” because they DO NOT break down in the environment and stick around in the atmosphere, rainwater, and soil for long periods.

Some PFAS are effective at resisting fire, heat, stains, and grease, making them useful chemicals for various applications. So, a wide range of everyday consumer products is made with these highly toxic chemicals.

But PFAS has become a problem in water across the world. Scientists have found that rainwater from many places across the globe is contaminated with PFAS chemicals. An effective technique to remove PFAS chemicals from contaminated waters is the need of the hour.

Removing ‘forever chemicals’ out of our waterways has been the focus of research

Research teams across the world are taking different approaches to remove PFAS from contaminated water. But existing methods require machinery like pumps etc, need a power source, and take a lot of time.

Now, researchers at the University of Queensland have developed a simple, fast, and effective new technique

Researchers have designed a solution called a magnetic fluorinated polymer sorbent which, when added to contaminated water, coats the PFAS molecules and makes them magnetic. After that, it becomes a relatively simple process to use a magnet to attract and separate these pollutants from the water within 30 seconds.

The solution can remove 95% of most PFAS molecules from contaminated water and can be reused up to 10 times.

Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

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