Scientists advocate 'super sand' to purify water


Staff member
Bangalore: Scientists have developed a way to chemically transform ordinary sand into so-called ‘super sand' for improved purification of drinking water.

Ordinary sand, an abundant natural resource of the earth, is a preferred filter material used throughout the world to purify drinking water from municipal water supplies to small domestic water filters, particularly as packed bed filters.

The new method transforms the regular sand into a ‘super sand' with five times the filtering capacity, according to a report in the journal Applied Materials and Interfaces published by the American Chemical Society (ACS).

The new material developed by Mainak Majumder and colleagues at Monash University in Australia "could be a low-cost boon for developing countries, where more than a billion people lack clean drinking water," the ACS said.

Low cost

Majumder and colleagues started off with a nanomaterial called graphite oxide and chemically modified its surface to enable its use as a novel material for low-cost water purification processes.

They used a simple method to coat sand grains with surface modified graphite oxide, creating super sand that successfully removed mercury and a dye molecule.