Feeds

Aussie scientists develop radioactivity-trapping nanofibers

One gram of fiber cleans a ton of water

Security for virtualized datacentres

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. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Boffins say they've got Lithium batteries the wrong way around
Surprises at the nano-scale mean our ideas about how they charge could be all wrong
Thought that last dinosaur was BIG? This one's bloody ENORMOUS
Weighed several adult elephants, contend boffins
Europe prepares to INVADE comet: Rosetta landing site chosen
No word yet on whether backup site is labelled 'K'
City hidden beneath England's Stonehenge had HUMAN ABATTOIR. And a pub
Boozed-up ancients drank beer before tearing corpses apart
'Duck face' selfie in SPAAAACE: Rosetta's snap with bird comet
Probe prepares to make first landing on fast-moving rock
Archaeologists and robots on hunt for more Antikythera pieces
How much of the world's oldest computer can they find?
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.