IIT Madras Professor Thalappil Pradeep has bagged the VinFuture Special Prize for Innovators from Developing Countries for his development of a low-cost filtration system, which can remove arsenic and other heavy metals from groundwater, in Vietnam on December 20, 2022.
Attracting 970 nominations from over 70 countries across six continents, the four most outstanding scientific works, aligned with this season’s theme of “Reviving and Reshaping”, were chosen as the winners. The winners include the breakthroughs that have made global network technology a reality, 3D protein structure prediction using AI system AlphaFold 2, isolation of the Sub1A gene that facilitated the development of submergence tolerant rice, and a low-cost filtration system to remove arsenic and other heavy metals from groundwater. World Wide Web inventor, Sir Timothy John Berners-Lee, was among the winners of the VinFuture Grand Prize.
Professor T Pradeep has discovered affordable and sustainable nanomaterials which could be used to produce clean water. The arsenic and other materials removed by these materials do not cause impact on the surrounding environment. This method, employing simple designs, provides a means to purify groundwater at a very low cost to reach millions of impacted households. In remote areas, this technology is even more advantageous because it does not require electricity.