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The SAFE (Sunlight Assisted Filtration Equipment) Water project addresses the issue of making desalination affordable, not just monetarily – but also in terms of environmental impact and energy use.

Current desalination processes all have significant energy costs, either in achieving the high pressure required for reverse osmosis, or the method of regenerating the filters used. A system which is capable of small-scale purification with a low energy regeneration step is therefore extremely valuable.


By using the established advantageous properties of metal-organic frameworks (tuneable pore sizes, controlled crystallisation) and combining them with the ion-trapping capability of spiropyran molecules, our aim is to synthesise a material which possesses the ability to purify seawater in an energy efficient way.

Project team