HOW IT WORKS
The filtration process is extremely simple: Contaminated water is drawn through the membrane by vacuum.
“A sufficiently strong vacuum could be produced with a simple hand pump,” says Mezzenga, “which would allow the system to be operated without electricity.”
The system is almost infinitely scalable, making it cost effective to filer large volumes of water.
As toxic substances are drawn through the filter, they “stick” primarily to the protein fibers, which have numerous binding sites where individual metal ions can dock. However, the large surface area of the activated charcoal can also absorb large quantities of toxins, which delays saturation of the membranes.
In addition, the protein fibers lend mechanical strength to the membrane and at high temperatures allow the trapped ions to be chemically converted into valuable metallic nanoparticles.
Read on to learn exactly how efficient this new filter really is…