A team of Australian researchers has developed a new kind of nanomaterial whose unique filtration properties provide unmatched purity of water.
Known as metal organic framework or MOF, the nanomaterial demonstrated its filtering capacity by completely sieving paraquat -- a herbicide linked with the onset of Parkinson's Disease.
It was designed by mechanical engineers Mainak Majumder and Phillip Sheath from Monash University and Matthew Hill from Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation.
"Due to its very precise filtering properties, this testing application could deliver very accurate contamination readings in the field," Hill was quoted as saying by the journals Chemistry of Materials and Science.
MOFs are clusters of metal atoms connected by organic molecules and known for their exceptional abilities to store or separate gases such as carbon dioxide, according to a Monash statement.
Majumder said the uniform structure of MOFs made them very efficient filters.
"These are crystalline materials with a difference -- they have pores that are all exactly the same size. So while one substance can fit in the pores and be captured, another, just one tenth of a nanometre bigger, can't fit," he said.