The US Department of Defence is harnessing nanotechnology in its search for new water purification technology.

Dendritic NanoTechnologies Inc. (DNT) has been awarded a $1.3m contract to develop water remediation technology using DNT’s Priostar dendrimer-based nanotechnology.

The dendrimer acts as a sponge, soaking up toxic chemicals from ground-water, leaving it purer and useable.

The company says development of the technology will give the Department of Defence a new generation, cost effective and environmentally friendly water purification system.