Graphene could help reduce the energy cost of producing heavy water and decontamination in nuclear power plants by over one hundred times compared with current technologies, according to a new study.
The new development could lead to the reduction of CO2 emissions associated with heavy water production by up to a million tonnes each year.
A team from the University of Manchester led by Dr Marcelo Lozada-Hidalgo demonstrated fully scalable prototypes of graphene membranes capable of producing heavy water.
Heavy water is used by the nuclear industry as a key part of the reaction process to create energy but it is expensive to produce.
Graphene-based membranes could make the production of heavy water more efficient through its ability to effectively separate sub-atomic particles, leading to greener and cheaper nuclear power.
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Source: Engineering and Technology