When you think of a glass of water, what words come to mind? Clean? Safe? Refreshing? Unfortunately, those words don’t describe most of the drinking water in the world. According to the World Health Organization, 1 in 3 people on Earth don’t have access to safe drinking water. Children in some parts of Africa, for example, may need to walk for miles to get access to a bottle of drinking water. No matter where you live, people need clean water. Think about it. We need water for drinking, cooking, bathing, handwashing, and growing food. We need water to survive.
Copper is a contaminant that makes water unsafe to drink. We created a new material – ZIOS – that can take copper out of the water and use it in other industries. We tested ZIOS to see how much it reduced copper levels in water. We also tested how quickly it does that, and if it would work in acidic environments. Our data support that ZIOS is a good solution to cleaning up copper pollution.