Researchers at the University of Manchester have used graphene to produce an efficient, cost-effective method of turning seawater into drinking water.
Sieving Out Salt
A team of researchers led by Rahul Nair of the University of Manchester have invented a graphene oxide membrane that can sieve salt from seawater, producing potable water.
Graphene has been tipped as a promising material for this kind of purpose for some time, but previous attempts have failed because graphene oxide membranes swell up when submerged. This allows salt particles to flow through, impeding its ability to properly filter the liquid.
However, Nair and his team counteracted this problem by building walls of epoxy resin on both sides of the membrane. This offered them close control over the size of the membrane’s pores, which could be made small enough to sieve all the varieties of salt that tend to be present in seawater.
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