A research team at the University of Bath’s Centre for Sustainable Chemical Technologies, and the Water Innovation and Research Centre (WIRC), led by Simon Lewis, has developed a simple colour-changing test that detects high levels of fluoride quickly and selectively. The test changes from purple to blue when the levels of fluoride in the water are too high. Whilst the test is at the proof of concept stage, the team aims to develop it into a disposable test strip that is low cost and easy to use by anyone.
The Bath researchers are partnering with the Nasio Trust, a charity that works to protect and support vulnerable children in East Africa, to develop their system for ease of use in the field.
The team is now looking for additional partners to take the technology forward and help develop the test. They are also working towards adapting the technology to other types of notorious water contaminants of global concern, including mercury, lead and cadmium.
The core project team consists of Carlos López-Alled, Simon Lewis, Jannis Wenk and Tony James.
Read the full news article about the test.
The following post was contributed by Joel Ambasna and Harriet Vann.
Through the Nuffield Foundation, we took part in a four-week summer research placement in the Chemical Engineering Department and the Water Innovation and Research Centre (WIRC) at the University of Bath. We joined the group of Dr Ana Lanham and were tasked with investigating the microbial populations of different wastewater treatment systems. Harriet looked into activated sludge systems and Joel into biological phosphorus removal systems. Both of these systems use microbial populations to do the work of “cleaning” the wastewater and we wanted to see what these microbial populations looked like and how different they were from one another. Minh (Nguyen, ChemEng/WIRC) and Megan (Stalker, CSCT), two of Ana’s students, threw us in at the deep end with some bulky books to read of which we initially understood nothing, but with their help we began to grasp the main ideas. (more…)