Queensland researchers have developed a way to quickly and simply remove dangerous PFAS chemicals from water using magnets.
Researchers from the University of Queensland have developed a method that does not require electricity or bulky lab equipment.
PFAS (perfluorinated and polyfluorinated alkyl substances) had been used extensively since the 1950s in a variety of forms, including in firefighting foam used at airports as well as in consumer products such as non-stick frying pans.
They are now believed to cause cancers and other illnesses, and are known as a “forever chemical” due to their tendency to remain in the environment without breaking down.
While they are no longer used, methods to remove them from local environments have been needed, especially where drinking water supplies have been contaminated.
Polymer chemist Dr Cheng Zhang and PhD candidate Xiao Tan at UQ’s Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology have spearheaded a way to quickly and easily remove the PFAS from water.