23 Nov 2018

New science in a grain of sand

From Nine To Noon, 9:37 am on 23 November 2018
Hands holding black sand at Muriwai Beach

Photo: RNZ / Cole Eastham-Farrelly

Silicon dioxide, the raw material found in sand, is an earth abundant resource.

However, beach and riverbed sand, isn't the only source of silicon dioxide and this is where the potential lies. Dr Erin Leitao is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Chemical Sciences in the Faculty of Science, University of Auckland.

She's been researching converting silicon into different materials, replacing a reliance on oil as a raw material, with the potential to open up a new field of chemistry with applications that are yet to be imagined.

Dr Erin Leitao

Dr Erin Leitao Photo: @L’Oreal FWIS (For Women in Science)