Professor Wong Po Keung from School of Life Sciences employs magnetic natural materials to kill bacteria and remove impurities from polluted water. After experimenting with many other materials, he found that natural magnetic sphalerite can photocatalytically degrade organic material and reduce the amount of inorganic compounds in waste water as part of the process to purify contaminated water. He and his team also used thermal treatment to create magnetic materials with greater purity which can be safely used to treat water.
Professor Wong is now working with a research team at the Guangdong University of Technology to study the contaminants and pollutants in depth. He focuses on microbial disinfection and killing off the living contaminants while the team based in mainland works on removing organic and inorganic compounds in water and non-living pollutants. He has also collaborated with a mainland-based company in testing the waste-water purification system on site, with the hope of controlling the quality of waste water produced by factories and restaurants.