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Magnetic nanoparticles can extract lithium from industrial wastewater.

And a research team in Princeton has developed a material which can remove salt and microplastics with at least 98% efficiency.

Inspiration came in the form of a sandwich.

First, the team mixed bread dough with carbon, varying the recipe by reducing the number of ingredients each time, until eventually only the egg whites remained.

Together with the carbon, these formed an aerogel after being freeze-dried and heated to 900 degrees.

Alternative protein sources are equally suitable for this filtration process which – unlike activated carbon – requires only gravity to succeed.

Microplastics can be just as easily removed from washing machines, and thanks to students sea nomads have better access to drinking water.

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