06 April 2017
A team led by Dr Rahul Raveendran-Nair from the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom has invented a graphene-oxide membrane that can filter salts from a solution like seawater.
In the past, membranes could only sieve out large particles from water, but fails at stopping the flow of dissolved ionic compounds.
The Manchester team built walls of epoxy resin on a graphene oxide membrane, preventing the membrane from swelling up under water and thus enabling the membrane pores to trap dissolved salt ions.
By precisely controlling the pore size in the membrane, holes can be made tiny enough to filter out all common salts from seawater whilst allowing pure water to pass through.