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Old 05-08-17, 07:25   #1
 
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Earth British Scientists Create Sieve Capable of Making Seawater Drinkable

Hope for Millions: 'Wonder Material' Graphene is Used to Create a Sieve That Turns Sea Water into Drinking Water

  • Researchers used lattices of graphene-oxide as a molecular sieve to stop salt
  • They can turn salt water into fresh water as well as filtering out other impurities
  • The discovery could lead to cheaper filtration systems for the developing world
Daily Mail UK. Posted 5 August 2017.


A miracle material that could provide clean water for millions of people around the world has been created in the lab.

Researchers have used graphene to create a membrane that could be revolutionary in desalination - the process by which salt-water is turned into fresh water - as well as for filtering dirty drinking water.
And their discovery could lead to the production of small and affordable filtration devices for use in the developing world.





Scientists have created a molecular 'sieve' using graphene-oxide (artist's impression pictured), which filters out salt and other impurities to create clean, fresh drinking water. This could help provide cheaper small scale filters for the developing world


Quote:

HOW IT WORKS


When common salts are dissolved in water, a 'shell' of water molecules forms around the salt molecules.
This allows the tiny capillaries of the graphene-oxide membranes to block the salt from flowing along with the water.

Water molecules are able to pass through the membrane barrier and flow very quickly.
This makes them ideal for desalination plants where vast volumes of water may flow through on a daily basis.

Created by the University of Manchester UK (TUM), the filter sieves out common salts from water.

It works by creating a membrane of graphene-oxide - a lattice of carbon and water atoms, with each layer just one atom thick - which allows water to pass through, but stops any larger molecules.

Membranes previously developed at the National Graphene Institute at TUM have already demonstrated the potential of filtering out small nano-particles, organic molecules, and even large salts using graphene-oxide.

But researchers found that the membranes became slightly swollen when immersed in water, allowing smaller salts to flow through.
Now the TUM team has overcome this problem, by controlling the pore size in the membrane so precisely that the salts can no longer pass through.

When common salts are dissolved in water, a 'shell' of water molecules forms around the salt molecules.
This allows the tiny capillaries of the graphene-oxide membranes to block the salt from flowing along with the water.
Water molecules are able to pass through the membrane barrier and flow very quickly.
This makes them ideal for desalination plants where vast volumes of water may flow through on a daily basis.




By 2025 the UN expects that 14 per cent of the world's population will encounter water scarcity. The graphene filter could be particularly useful in countries which cannot afford large scale desalination plants (stock image)



Quote:

GRAPHENE


Known as a scientific 'wonder material', graphene is a sheet form of carbon that is just one atom thick.
It boasts a range of startling properties - including being hundreds of times stronger than steel, extremely lightweight and a superb conductor of electricity.
Potential applications for the man-made material have included everything from bendable smart phones to super-capacity batteries.

Professor Rahul Nair, at The University of Manchester UK said: 'Realisation of scalable membranes with uniform pore size down to atomic scale is a significant step forward and will open new possibilities for improving the efficiency of desalination technology.


'This is the first clear-cut experiment in this regime.
'We also demonstrate that there are realistic possibilities to scale up the described approach and mass produce graphene-based membranes with required sieve sizes.'

The new findings were publishhed today in the journal Nature Nanotechnology.
By 2025 the UN expects that 14 per cent of the world's population will encounter water scarcity.




When common salts are dissolved in water, a 'shell' of water molecules forms around the salt molecules. This allows the tiny capillaries of the graphene-oxide membranes to block the salt from flowing along with the water (stock image)


With the effects of climate change continue to reduce modern city's water supplies, wealthy modern countries are also investing in desalination technologies.

Following severe floods in California, major wealthy cities are also looking increasingly to alternative water solutions.
And the graphene filter could be particularly useful in countries which cannot afford large scale desalination plants.
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