From the category of Pretty Cool News With a Lot of Applications, researchers at the University of Delaware have devised a new, inexpensive means of removing viruses from drinking water by using elemental iron.
The technology would be tremendously useful in parts of the world where clean water is difficult to come by, as the elemental iron used to purify the water is available as a by-product of iron and steel production. It would also be useful in the U.S. and other industrialized countries as it would allow water utilities to stop using chlorine to purify water supplies.
The researchers suggest that the process could also be applied to other tasks besides purifying drinking water, especially agricultural processes. The technique is said to be capable of removing up to 99.999% of viruses from water.