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Science & Technology

Graphene filter can make seawater drinkable

February 16, 2018 | Comment icon 17 comments

Graphene can be used in a wide range of applications. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 AlexanderAlUS
Scientists have developed a new type of water filter that can make even polluted seawater drinkable.
Developed by researchers at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), the filter uses a type of graphene known as Graphair which is made from soybean oil.

Graphene itself is often touted as a 'wonder material' that is up to 200 times stronger than even the strongest steel and conducts electricity better than copper.

The filter, which uses a thin coating of Graphair, works thanks to microscopic nanochannels which enable water molecules to pass through but block pollutants with larger molecules.
Impressively, the researchers found that it was able to block 99 percent of contaminants.

"Almost a third of the world's population, some 2.1 billion people, don't have clean and safe drinking water," said lead author Dong Han Seo. "As a result, millions - mostly children - die from diseases associated with inadequate water supply, sanitation and hygiene every year."

"In Graphair we've found a perfect filter for water purification. It can replace the complex, time consuming and multi-stage processes currently needed with a single step."

Source: Science Alert | Comments (17)

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #8 Posted by third_eye 4 years ago
Trust you to go Dutch on myself with this occasion ... ~
Comment icon #9 Posted by pallidin 4 years ago
Truly, graphene is a "miracle substance" with applications ranging from aerospace, super capacitors, filtration and more. Go graphene!!
Comment icon #10 Posted by khol 4 years ago
Its been around a long time ZZ. My father served in the merchant marines from 42 to 45. They used large boilers to generate steam to extracted the freshwater.  Considering the countless people that feel the effects of little or no water desalination technologies will have to be considered in specifac areas. Also its easy to not think about it when we can go to our tap and fill our kettle. If we study current trends indications show in 100 yrs it will be much different story and a real concern on a burgeoning population. Im not saying its the only answer. I can see desalination being used in co... [More]
Comment icon #11 Posted by Hankenhunter 4 years ago
This is awesome! Ive been working on an idea for fresh water after a disaster. If I can do it right, they will be stackable like kiddie pools and work completely by solar evaporation. These would be used mainly in hotter climes where monsoons, cyclones, and floods are common. Best part is that they can be booted out of airplanes and choppers without damage. They will be a stop gap measure till the waters recede enough for emergency supplies to get through. If graphene can be produced cheaply I may have to shelve the idea. Inventing is hard but oh so fun.:) Hank     
Comment icon #12 Posted by Chaldon 4 years ago
Yes, yes, cool, et cetera, but I'm already tired of hearing about these graphene wonders and never touching or even seeing one with my own eyes. Hi-tech exhibitions don't count.
Comment icon #13 Posted by Derek Willis 4 years ago
But can graphene make the coffee sold at McDonald's drinkable?
Comment icon #14 Posted by Hankenhunter 4 years ago
Whoa there big guy. It's a sieve, not a miracle device. Hank
Comment icon #15 Posted by Merc14 4 years ago
I don't think they are producing pure graphene with their process and neither is the  complexity of their process explained in any detail at all.  That said, this "graphair" would be wonderful if it is as easy to accomplish as the story insinuates.  Sounds like one of those "ten years from now with millions of dollars of research money......" things.
Comment icon #16 Posted by pallidin 4 years ago
Generally, "exhibitions" necessarily precede investor-fueled production.
Comment icon #17 Posted by Codenwarra 4 years ago
Not impressed. How much pressure is needed to push the water through? It just looks like standard reverse osmosis to me.    

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