ImpAs – Addressing the global arsenic challenge
My group initiated in close collaboration with Professor Ramon Vilar from the Chemistry Department at Imperial College the development of a bimetallic chemical receptor (ImpAs) that selectively removes arsenate (AsV) from contaminated drinking water. The resin removes double the amount of arsenic compared to the leading materials for water treatment and it enables to determine the speciation of arsenic (AsIII, AsV). We filed a patent for the resin in the UK, Europe and the USA.
The receptor is evaluated for potential commercialization in two distinct areas of application. First, we are designing a cartridge that contains ImpAs for the efficient removal of arsenic from a range of different water types and that can be incorporated into a mobile portable water system to enable a point-of-use device for the purification of drinking water in ordinary households. Second, we are developing a filter device that can separate AsIII and AsV from contaminated waters to study the speciation of arsenic in the laboratory and in the field. We use syringes and load the ImpAs resin into the syringe, take the water up and squeeze it through. To date, we evaluated the performance of the resin in the laboratory and in the field in West Bangladesh.
SOLEN – Consulting in Atmospheric Pollution
In 2018, together with Dr de Oliveira from the University of Sao Paolo, we secured funding from FAPESP (São Paulo Research Foundation) to set up a air quality consultancy (Environ Finger Solution) based in Sao Paolo, Brazil. The consultancy focuses on four distinct areas: Atmospheric Environment, including identification of pollutant sources
Atmospheric Modelling, including the prediction of gas and particle distribution in the atmosphere, Quality control including, including consulting on quality control in air quality control, Courses and Training, including workshop and lecture series with specialists in the various areas. We plan workshops in the UK and in Brazil to promote the work but also to develop a wider network of air pollution specialists in these two countries. The Weiss group has collaborated with the University of Brasilia (Araujo group, now at IFREMER) and the University of Sao Paolo (Babinski group) over the recent years on various topics including the development of new isotope tracers to identify metal pollutants in the environment and urban lead contamination.
Untap – Consulting in Water Monitoring
Jay Bullen graduated from our group in 2020 and went on to set up a water monitoring company – Untap. Untap is developing early warning system to detect the prevalence of Covid-19 (or any other virus) in real-time in a community i.e., the approximate number of people with Covid-19 in the local population. Detection uses PCR in the wastewater: 96% positive detection rate, 100% negative detection rate and completely passive. Early detection can instate a range of measures, depending on the prevalence. Viral detection in a community can trigger workflows such as increased ventilation, reduced hot-desking, increased cleaning and more.
Jay is visiting scientist in our group and we explore collaborative opportunities. He is also involved in the writing of my text book.