Published on 29 Jan 2023

Turning fruit and plastic wastes into useful materials for water purification

A NTU scientist has developed an ultra-thin material made from recycled fruit with exceptional light-to-heat conversion efficiency that can be used in equipment to purify dirty water.

Asst Prof Edison Ang from the National Institute of Education successfully used coconut husks, orange peels and banana peels to make MXenes, an electrical-conducting compound with similar properties to graphene, which is commonly used in the electronics industry.

“Our synthesis process is three times cheaper than commercial methods because the original source that we use (fruit waste) is free of charge,” he said in an interview.

For now, Asst Prof Ang plans to use his MXenes in solar stills, which use sunlight to distil dirty water. The solar stills can be used in disaster zones and rural areas, where fuel and clean water are usually scarce.

He also plans to use his MXene in applications such as energy storage and battery manufacturing.

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