Dirty to Potable: Nanomaterials Transform Water
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - A team of engineers found a way to use graphene oxide sheets to transform dirty water into drinking water, and it could be a global game-changer.
Graphene oxide has been hailed as a veritable wonder material; when incorporated into nanocellulose foam, the lab-created substance is light, strong and flexible, conducting heat and electricity quickly and efficiently.
Now, a team of engineers at Washington University in St. Louis has found a way to use graphene oxide sheets to transform dirty water into drinking water.
"We hope that for countries where there is ample sunlight, such as India, you'll be able to take some dirty water, evaporate it using our material, and collect fresh water," said Srikanth Singamaneni, associate professor of mechanical engineering and materials science at the School of Engineering & Applied Science.
The new approach combines bacteria-produced cellulose and graphene oxide to form a bi-layered biofoam. A paper detailing the research is available online in Advanced Materials.
The new biofoam is extremely light and inexpensive to make, making it a viable tool for water purification and desalination.
"Cellulose can be produced on a massive scale," Singamaneni said, "and graphene oxide is extremely cheap -- people can produce tons, truly tons, of it. Both materials going into this are highly scalable. So one can imagine making huge sheets of the biofoam."