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Australian universities to leverage crowd power for new water filters

IBM’s World Community Grid has announced the Computing for Clean Water project, involving the University of Sydney, Monash University and China’s Tsinghua University.

The Computing for Clean Water project will develop ways to filter and scrub polluted water, as well as convert saltwater into drinkable freshwater at a lower costs, complexity and energy expenditure than current techniques.

The effort will seek to reduce the pressure and energy required to force water through microscopic, nanometer-sized pores in tubes made of carbon, whose tiny holes prevent harmful organic material from being transmitted.

To do so, scientists need to produce millions of computer simulations modelling how water molecules interact with one another and against the walls of the carbon nanotubes.

To accelerate this task, the scientists will harness the World community Grid to perform online simulations, crunch numbers, and pose hypothetical scenarios. The processing power is provided by a grid of 1.5 million PCs from 600,000 volunteers around the world. These PCs perform computations for scientists when the machines would otherwise be underutilized.

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