Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Water, Water, Everywhere!

A very interesting development in the use of graphene oxide membranes (www.manchester.ac.uk/discover/news/graphene-sieve-turns-seawater-into-drinking-water) has been reported. Graphene is a novel form of the element carbon, with a high tensile strength and it has been known for some time that micro-sieves, made from this material, can be used to remove contaminants (metal ions) from water. The development of even finer sieves now appear, in laboratory studies, to be capable of filtering much smaller salts from seawater, raising the possibility that they can be used to generate drinking (and water for agriculture?) water in areas unable to afford the high energy costs traditionally employed in desalination plants. Such a development, if it transpires, would be a real boon in certain areas of the world where access to water is very limited.

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