Graphene «Sieve» Will Help to Desalinate Sea Water


In the UK, the first graphene filter was created to turn seawater into a drinking water. Its membrane effectively retains sodium and chlorine ions. The new technology will be much cheaper and significantly reduce energy costs for desalination.

Graphene «Sieve» Will Help to Desalinate Sea Water

The authors of the development are Nobel laureate Andrei Geim, one of the founders of graphene, and his colleagues at Manchester University. They managed to turn strips of graphene into a kind of «sieve», gluing them together with simple epoxy glue. In this form, graphene does not swell with water, but passes its molecules, screening out salt ions (these ions are much larger, since they are stuck with H2O molecules). Thus, 98% of the magnesium, sodium, potassium and lithium ions are removed from the water.

Graphene filters are not required the external sources of energy. Scientists have yet to verify how the membranes will react to pollution, but it is already obvious that it is possible to mass-produce such desalination plants.

Let us recall, graphene is a material based on carbon, created by Andrei Geim and Konstantin Novoselov in 2004.