Australian chemists have found a way to use sunlight to purify wastewater faster, cheaper, 15 times more efficient than anything currently on the market - all without the need for ultraviolet light.
Using modified titanium dioxide as a photocatalyst that works with sunlight, the technology is different to other major water purification products on the market - since it doesn't need any UV light.
Research group leader Professor Yun Liu from The Australian National University (ANU) said the team's invention was 15 times more efficient than leading commercialised products.
"With innovative chemistry design, we can use our photocatalyst to purify water with natural sunlight instead of UV light and dramatically reduce costs for operators," said Professor Liu from the ANU Research School of Chemistry.
"Our photocatalyst can completely decompose organic pollutants in wastewater in 20 minutes, compared with the leading commercialised products which take one hour to decompose only 26 per cent of the same pollutants."
The new technology could be useful for treating water for human consumption and has potential applications in making self-cleaning building materials, including glass, and splitting water to make hydrogen fuel.