A team of researchers in Singapore found a cheaper and more Earth-friendly way to filter raw water using recycled glass.
As a part of their GLASSwater project, researchers from Ngee Ann Polytechnic have devised a way to use a porous ceramic membrane made from recycled glass to purify water for safe consumption, according to an article published on Wednesday by Channel NewsAsia Singapore.
The GLASSwater technology will make it cheaper and easier to purify water for drinking, irrigation and gardening, among other applications, researchers said.
“Besides the ability to eliminate solids and pathogenic bacteria that cause diseases like typhoid and cholera, the glass ceramic membrane also has a high flux, meaning water can flow through it very quickly,” lead researcher Gurdev Singh told Channel NewsAsia. “All you have to do is insert the [membrane] into a bottle cap and pour.”
The speediness of GLASSwater purification also makes the technology ideal for recycling used water at car washes, irrigating crops and filtering rainwater harvested from rooftop collection systems, according to the article.
The new technology is also expected to dramatically decrease the production cost of safe, purified water. The current production cost of ceramic membranes made from raw materials is about $80 to $155. Recycled alternatives will be two to three times cheaper, costing only $40 to $80 to produce, according to the article.
The technology is ready to be used for irrigation and water recycling purposes but needs further development before it can be used to produce drinking water, researchers said.
“We are trying to work with industry partners, and, hopefully, we can commercialize it,” Koh Lee Chew from the Water Quality Monitoring and Detection Centre at Ngee Ann Polytechnic told Channel NewsAsia. “We would like ultimately for this system to be housed inside central kitchens…and whatever energy that is harvested from this system can be plowed back into the kitchen again.”