A simple yet powerful Australian water treatment technology will be brought to the global market.

The University of South Australia has licensed a unique coating technology to a Singapore-based firm, to commercialise for the water treatment market worldwide.

The University’s coating technology transforms a standard stainless steel or plastic mesh into a highly effective separator of fluids.

For a liquid containing oil and water together, a mixture typically found in contaminated water treatment situations, the water passes easily through the mesh while preventing the progress of the oil component.

“This technology can be used to separate oil and water at very low pressures,” says Professor Dayang Wang, a researcher and one of the inventors of the technology.

“The mesh filters are produced through an easily accessible coating process, which allows large-scale production.”

The Singapore company Hyflux intends to further develop the coating technology, integrate it with their water treatment membrane manufacturing processes, and market the end products globally.

Hyflux is the company behind Singapore’s first water recycling plant, two seawater reverse osmosis (SWRO) desalination plants, and some of the world’s largest SWRO desalination plants in China and Algeria.

“It is also another great example of UniSA research being targeted at finding solutions for industry”, said Dr Stephen Rodda, head of the University’s commercialisation department.

The University of Adelaide is also seeking industry partners to apply the technology to oil spill remediation, so it could be used in situations such as the 2010 BP oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.