Using only a high-tech filter and the power of direct sunlight, Australian researchers have developed a world-first technology that can make large volumes of seawater safe to drink in less than 30 minutes.

According to the Melbourne-based Monash University, the specially-designed filter is capable of generating hundreds of litres of drinkable water per day, and requires only direct sunlight to purify it, making the process energy-efficient, low cost and sustainable.

Used in making the filters are metal-organic frameworks (MOFs), a class of compounds consisting of metal ions that form a crystalline material with the largest surface area of any material known.