In Brief Researchers at the University of Manchester have used graphene to produce an efficient, cost-effective method of turning seawater into drinking water.
A team of researchers led by Rahul Nair of the University of Manchester have invented a graphene oxide membrane that can sieve salt from seawater, producing potable water.
Graphene has been tipped as a promising material for this kind of purpose for some time, but previous attempts have failed because graphene oxide membranes swell up when submerged.
The graphene oxide sieve could help provide a cheap, quick, and effective way to filter seawater.
Single-layer graphene is notoriously difficult to mass produce, but since this project uses graphene oxide, the end result should be relatively inexpensive and easy to manufacture.
“The ultimate goal is to create a filtration device that will produce potable water from seawater or wastewater with minimal energy input,” said Nair.
With sea levels on the rise, and millions of people in dire need of drinking water, devising a method for making seawater drinkable could prove to be an efficient, cost-effective method.