A team of experts from Singapore has managed to give a new eco-friendly purpose to old glass. Scientists from Ngee Ann Polytechnic have designed a recycled glass-based porous ceramic membrane, used to purify raw water.
Their solution, launched through an ample project entitled GLASSwater is both green and cost-effective, Channel NewsAsia informs.
The production costs of the common membrane manufactured using raw materials are currently evaluated at up to $200 (€153) for every square meter.
The financial advantages posed by the innovative recycled glass-based product could halve production costs, requiring only up to $100 (€76.5).
So far, experts have given the green light to their invention to be used only in cases in which the water doesn't have to be 100% pure. It appears to be an ideal product for gardening, irrigations and it could also be used by car-wash companies.
The team thinks that several other tests have to be performed before the GLASSwater membrane could actually be used to filter drinking water.
Their green technology provides a win-win situation, both for companies eager to save some money otherwise spent on common membranes used to purify water and for the environment, since it offers a greener alternative to handling waste glass.
Usually, waste glass is discarded, then collected and melted, a process that requires a significant amount of energy and that releases a high concentration of toxic emissions into the atmosphere.
Redirecting recycled glass to produce GLASSwater membrane is definitely a much more earth-friendly option. At this point in time, the greatest challenge is to improve the product so that it could be used to offer 100% pure drinking water.
This achievement would be highly beneficial, especially for poor people in developing countries who often have to walk for miles to quench their thirst without exposing themselves to health risks.
One fully tested, experts hope their product will be used in food courts and canteens all across the globe.