The graphene sieve may be one of the most important inventions in years. Image Credit: sxc.hu
Scientists have come up with a new type of sieve that could bring clean drinking water to millions.
Developed by a team at the University of Manchester, the sieve is made from graphene - a 'wonder material' that is 200 times stronger than steel and can conduct both heat and electricity.
The breakthrough came after the researchers found a way to precisely control the size of the pores in the sieve, thus making it possible to use it to filter salt and harmful bactera from water.
"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," said team leader Professor Rahul Nair.
"We also demonstrate that there are realistic possibilities to scale up the described approach and mass produce graphene-based membranes with required sieve sizes."