Scientists at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) have developed a new type of water filter using a cheap and abundant material called titanium dioxide.
The filters are able to reduce the amount of energy needed to treat waste water by more than half. This could lead to cost savings of at least 30 per cent, said the NTU scientists.
The titanium dioxide filters when used for seawater are hydrophilic, which means they allow water to flow through quickly - about twice as fast compared to traditional filters - while still rejecting contaminants.
The scientists' work can also be used to improve solar cells and batteries.The team has set up a company and are in talks with other firms and national water agency, PUB.