Solar cells, condoms, insulators, photovoltaics, batteries, flexible electronics – only a few of the technological areas in which researchers are finding uses for graphene, the single-atom thick, pure carbon wonder material.
Now graphene has been touted as a possible solution to the world’s water storage problems. As the human population rises, desalination – the expensive process of extracting salt from sea water in order to produce fresh drinking water – is becoming critically important. Graphene could make it affordable.
Scientists are now determining how graphene could be used to filter sea water into drinking water for a fraction of present desalination energy costs. Given the “chicken-wire” nature of graphene’s atomic make-up, it is possible that water molecules from sea water could be allowed to pass through, while the salty sodium and chloride molecules could be held back. Bingo bango, instant filtration.
E&T has a dedicated page for graphene news and features, as we follow this exciting development.
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