Feeds

Aussie scientists develop radioactivity-trapping nanofibers

One gram of fiber cleans a ton of water

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

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. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Vulture 2 takes a battering in 100km/h test run
Still in one piece, but we're going to need MORE POWER
Boffins ID freakish spine-smothered prehistoric critter: The CLAW gave it away
Bizarre-looking creature actually related to velvet worms
TRIANGULAR orbits will help Rosetta to get up close with Comet 67P
Probe will be just 10km from Space Duck in October
CRR-CRRRK, beep, beep: Mars space truck backs out of slippery sand trap
Curiosity finds new drilling target after course correction
ANU boffins demo 'tractor beam' in water
The current state of the art, apparently
China to test recoverable moon orbiter
I'll have some rocks and a moon cheese pizza please, home delivery
What does a flashmob of 1,024 robots look like? Just like this
Sorry, Harvard, did you say kilobots or KILLER BOTS?
NASA's rock'n'roll shock: ROLLING STONE FOUND ON MARS
No sign of Ziggy Stardust and his band
Why your mum was WRONG about whiffy tattooed people
They're a future source of RENEWABLE ENERGY
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.