A significant proportion of available freshwater is made unavailable due to hazardous micropollutants left after current wastewater treatment methods. This is leading to increasing water stress, which will affect 47 per cent of the world's population by 2030.
Such micropollutants are resulting in devastating effects to people throughout the world. A recent study in the US found 287 toxic micropollutants in infants that had entered their body from their mothers.
Micropollutants have become such a problem in China that textile suppliers are now fined between £1,000 and £25,000 per day for not meeting waste water quality standards.
Spurred by this global problem, CustoMem has developed a novel, proprietary, genetic toolkit for reprogramming organisms using synthetic biology to produce customizable biomaterials with novel functions. CustoMem's customizable membrane prototypes have successfully captured, in a selective manner, hazardous heavy metals such as nickel, copper, and chromium in water.
Moreover, CustoMem's novel membranes allow for the recycling of captured micropollutants.
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