Feeds

Aussie scientists develop radioactivity-trapping nanofibers

One gram of fiber cleans a ton of water

Top three mobile application threats

Scientists from Queensland University of Technology (QUT) have developed a new material for cleaning up contaminated water from radioactive leaks and medical processes.

The team mixed titanate nanofiber and nanotubes into a powder that, it says, will clean the radioactive particles in a ton of water with a single gram, provided it’s properly distributed or filtered. The outsides of the nanotubes are coated with silver oxide nanocrystals to hold and fix radioactive iodine ions, even if the material becomes wet again.

"One gram of the nanofibers can effectively purify at least one ton of polluted water," Professor Zhu said in a statement. "This saves large amounts of dangerous water needing to be stored somewhere and also prevents the risk of contaminated products leaking into the soil."

QUT nuclear nanofibers

Professor Zhu makes exceedingly good nuke cleaners

The materials were co-developed with the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) and Pennsylvania State University in the US. Zhu said the development would give Australia a leading role in cleaning up both existing nuclear sites, and future ones.

"Australia is one of the largest producers of titania that are the raw materials used for fabricating the absorbents of titanate nanofibres and nanotubes,” he said. “Now with the knowledge to produce the adsorbents, we have the technology to do the cleaning up for the world."

The materials developed by the team would be of limited use in cases like the ongoing nuclear accident in Fukushima, which is now thought to have released up to double the originally reported amount of radioactivity. Given the nature of the accident, dispersal would be a problem, but it would offer a good way to clean and process waste from controlled nuclear processes. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
KILLER SPONGES menacing California coastline
Surfers are safe, crustaceans less so
LOHAN and the amazing technicolor spaceplane
Our Vulture 2 livery is wrapped, and it's les noix du mutt
KILLER ROBOTS, DNA TAMPERING and PEEPING CYBORGS: the future looks bright!
Americans optimistic about technology despite being afraid of EVERYTHING
R.I.P. LADEE: Probe smashes into lunar surface at 3,600mph
Swan dive signs off successful science mission
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
Liftoff! SpaceX Falcon 9 lifts Dragon on third resupply mission to ISS
SpaceX snaps smartly into one-second launch window
Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run
Helium seeps from Falcon 9 first stage, delays new legs for NASA robonaut
prev story

Whitepapers

SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.