Adelaide engineers have developed an innovative water purifying system that uses scrap materials like chip packets to concentrate sunlight on running water.
14 Sep 2014 - 8:18 PM  UPDATED 16 Sep 2014 - 11:06 AM

In a development that could potentially help millions of people without access to clean water, Dr Cris Birzer from the University of Adelaide says this invention is faster and more productive than other methods of treating water.

“It's effectively a long half cylinder [that] concentrates solar energy to a glass tube and in that glass tube we're just running water,” he says.

“The solar energy, or specifically the UVA radiation in turn kills the pathogens in the water."

Developed for communities in Papua New Guinea, the engineers turned to chip packets as a material that was “easily made and modular."

It's "made from effectively scrap material," Dr Birzer says. 

Unclean water claims the lives of 900 children in Papua New Guinea each year. Approximately 780 million people have no access to treated water worldwide.

The inventors have waived their right to a patent, meaning the potentially life-saving design will be freely available to anyone.