A Napier scientist's "happy accident" with a molecule he was creating has the potential to solve some of the world's water issues.

Professor Amar Flood, who was born and raised in Napier and attended Napier Intermediate followed by Colenso College, graduated in 1996 with a BSc in chemistry with first class honours from Otago University.

Flood is now leading a team of scientists based at Indiana University in the US who have created a powerful new molecule for the extraction of salt from liquid.

Flood said the project began in 2008, but the creation of the molecule was the result