Water covers most of the planet but is full of salt: it is difficult to make it drinkable.
today graphene (we all know its great properties) could provide a solution to the problem.
A team of researchers from the University of Manchester has developed a special membrane with 'scalable' pores and capable of filtering even the most infinitesimal salts.
The current salinization plants act in a slow and tiring way. On the contrary, graphene acts like a real sponge that absorbs salt water and releases it filtered.
The particular conformation produces "meshes" so tight that it does not allow more than 97% of sodium ions to pass. In fact, it is pure water. Drinking.
With such technology, water would no longer be a dwindling resource.
Scalability: a crucial factor of the graphene membrane
'Building a near-atomic-scale graphene membrane is a significant step forward and opens up brand new possibilities for improving the efficiency of desalination technologies,' says Professor Rahul Nair, co-author of the research. “This is the first effective experiment that demonstrates how many possibilities there are to apply this approach and produce graphene membranes of the most disparate sizes on a large scale”.
Scalability is one of the key factors. It can lead to water purifiers that can radically change the living conditions in countries with limited access to fresh water.
"They will not be useful for desalination only," says Jijo Abraham, another co-author. He adds: "In the long term, scalable graphene membranes will lead to different types of filters to purify different types of substances."
The research was published in the scientific journal Nature Nanotechnology.
Source: University of manchester