This screen made of graphene filters saltwater to drinking water
A sieve from England provides attention: it is transformed with a membrane of graphene salt into drinking water.
Without much effort. With some luck, it is the miracle finding that saves humanity from water scarcity.
By 2025, 14% of the world’s population will suffer from water scarcity, the UN estimates at that time more than a billion people will be.
Scientists from the University of Manchester say that this cannot happen.
Your solution: A ultra-thin filter that converts salt water from the sea into drinking water.
This would be a great invention and very effective, after all 70% of the earth is covered by seas.
Graphene oxide is the heart of the screen In 2010 Russian scientists received the Nobel Prize for the discovery of the graph,a modification of the carbon, in which each atom is surrounded by three others at an angle of 120 ° to form a honeycomb shaped pattern.
Theoretically, this two dimensional structure is an ideal filter. However, membranes have so far hardly been produced. So far!
The researchers have created a chemical derivative called graphene oxide in the laboratory, which can be applied to a substrate like an ink to form a thin membrane.
The holes in the membrane are not larger than a nanometer,they are a million times smaller than a millimeter.
The result: water penetrates the membrane. Salt does not. “It is the first time that we have been able to control the size of the pores in the membrane and thus desalination,” said Prof. Rahul Nair of the BBC.
Nair and his team have just published the study “Nature Nanotechnology”.
“The realization of scalable membranes with a uniform pore size up to the atomic scale is an important step forward and opens up new possibilities for improving the efficiency of desalination technology.
” Open question: How long does membrane salt water last? On the market the filter is not yet.
First of all, the researchers in the laboratory still have some hurdles to overcome.
For example, it is still unclear how long the membrane can withstand constant contact with seawater. It is also unclear whether the material is not too expensive to manufacture screens on an industrial scale.
The scientists have already solved another problem: the fact that graphene oxide swells in contact with water.
They have thin walled walls made of epoxy resin on both sides of the membrane, which prevent swelling.
Next, you want to experiment with combining the membrane with commercially available substances. Graphs also have other features.
As a lubricant, graphene could make sure that auto motors and machines will run almost without friction forever.
As a foam, graphene is feather light but much more stable than steel.
And finally, it could also be the ultimate flame retardant with a positive environmental balance.