Tiny Graphene Membrane Creates “Supercharged Water Purification” In One Simple Step

By Kevin Samson

Fresh water supplies continue to be assaulted on multiple fronts. Front page news at the moment is the unfolding disaster in Cape Town, South Africa which could be completely without water by June. According to some, this is as much the result of politics as it is the result of a three-year drought.

At the same time, clearly man-made disasters like the corporate hoarding of fresh water is on the rise. At the heart of this initiative to make water a commodity has been Nestle, whose former CEO clearly stated that water supplies should be privatized and that the right to fresh, clean water is not an essential human right. One look at how this is manifesting in Mexico at the moment should make it clear who gets most severely penalized for this policy.

Moreover, it is estimated that nearly 1/3 of the planet’s population is directly threatened by unclean water. Finding a solution to this ongoing plague should be of paramount importance; it is for this reason that I have repeatedly focused on novel new ways that we can take back control over our water supply and ensure that it is as clean as possible (see here and here).

A new filtering technique might just hold the largest promise yet for being able to access even large bodies of water across the planet that have become terribly polluted. Australia’s Syndney Harbour is one such place. Comprising more than 10,000 acres at depths of up to 35 feet, the Harbour is so polluted that scientists saw it as the perfect challenge to test their research.

The system that scientists at CSIRO have created is called Graphair, named after the microscopic graphene film that developers say will stop pollutants completely in a single step, as opposed to the multi-stage process of most commercial filters. It even holds the promise for “treatment of seawater and industrial effluents.” In addition to being simpler and faster, it is also environmentally sound as it consists of renewable soybean oil.

Researchers further describe the significance of this promising new application:

The breakthrough potentially solves one of the great problems with current water filtering methods: fouling.

Over time chemical and oil based pollutants coat and impede water filters, meaning contaminants have to be removed before filtering can begin. Tests showed Graphair continued to work even when coated with pollutants.

Without Graphair, the membrane’s filtration rate halved in 72 hours.

When the Graphair was added, the membrane filtered even more contaminants (99 per cent removal) faster.

“This technology can create clean drinking water, regardless of how dirty it is, in a single step,” Dr Seo said.

“All that’s needed is heat, our graphene, a membrane filter and a small water pump. We’re hoping to commence field trials in a developing world community next year.”

Similar to other developments that I’ve covered, scaling up the technology remains a final barrier for distribution to the masses in desperate need of access to clean water. CSIRO is seeking industry partners. Let’s hope that their endeavor is successful, as they state that this system ultimately could be used for home filtration all the way to being integrated into city systems.

Have you come across other solutions to solve water shortages and purification? Please leave your information in the comment section below.

Kevin Samson writes for NaturalBlaze.com and Activist Post. This article (Tiny Graphene Membrane Creates “Supercharged Water Purification” In One Simple Step) may be republished in part or in full with author attribution and source link.


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18 Comments on "Tiny Graphene Membrane Creates “Supercharged Water Purification” In One Simple Step"

  1. fuel cells make pure water. condensers make clean water.
    sea water in cold places has less salt.
    people in hell want ice water?
    white people built this place and they CAME and TOOK it for the cannables , let them fix it themselves, they did so good in RHODESIA!!!

  2. Intriguing. I’d sure like to see the specs on how much heat is needed before judging its practicality for poor people.

  3. My research group is currently testing a high volume cyclonic vacuum distillation process. It should allow us to convert almost any polluted water source into potable water in a single pass. This includes wastewater from oil field production, runoff and sewage. Doesn’t use RO and doesn’t require pretreatment.

    • Forgive my ignorance, what is this RO to which you refer? I have heard something of swirling water to help it stay alive. Not sure if that coincides with what your group is doing or not, you mention cyclonic vacuum distillation is why I am reminded of that.

      Not a technician here but a layman country boy that appreciates learning a good bit about near everything. 🙂 Life fascinates me that way. Thank you in advance if you care to engage in a little discussion here.

  4. The planet has abundant water~
    yet there is no political will or corporate investment in sustainable desalination. All that is required is to convert old cargo ships to solar and wave operated desalination plants. If these are located 50 miles off any delicate coastal waters there will be no brine and pollution problems that always are a major environmental concern. Sterile distillation in stainless steel containers could eliminate all suffering associated with clean water deprivation for drinking and sanitation. Where are the entrepreneurs who have the resources to address this most important planetary issue?

    • Desalination isn’t what it’s cracked up to be by promoters sciencing.com/disadvantages-desalination-5961767.html Also, stainless will leach toxic metals nickel and chromium into liquid contents.

    • “The planet has abundant water~
      yet there is no political will or corporate investment in sustainable desalination.”

      You could change that statement to the one below.

      The planet has abundant food yet there is no political will or corporate investment in sustainable food production, food waste distribution to the hungry.

      It is a true fact, too. Check out this handy research backgrounder by Food First, a non-profit research group.

      You may also want to look over their site. I’ll link to the article, it has navigation.

      It seems scarcity, in not only food, has been a tool of propaganda used by the puritanical to lever society into a mess of industrialism, competitive capitalism and a plethora of other absurdities. In large part it is this myth which drives greed and it in turn drives fear and hatred. It boils down to the basic divide and conquer. It’s a genuine shame.

      Love and Reason are both required in equilibrium for us to hold the ideal of equanimity aloft. No, we can not be granted that, only one or the other in control at a time it seems. Sorry, I refuse playing such a game, if ever it was a game.

    • Desalination isn’t what it’s cracked up to be by promoters sciencing.com/disadvantages-desalination-5961767.html Also, stainless will leach toxic metals nickel and chromium into liquid contents.

    • Desalination isn’t what it’s cracked up to be by promoters sciencing.com/disadvantages-desalination-5961767.html Also, stainless will leach toxic metals nickel and chromium into liquid contents.

  5. Article should address one question: With this system, what is final disposition of removed pollutants. For example, distillation returns them immediately to the environment. Filters eventually become toxic ‘bombs’ that must be disposed of, most likely in landfills, and the filters themselves are problematic. And so on. Every purification system has drawbacks.

    • Good points to consider, thanks for presenting them. 🙂

      • It LOOKS as if we humans have dug ourselves into a pretty deep hole, from which at this point there is no escape. All the compensatory methods for purifying water merely redistribute the poisons. Of course, many folks seem not to care as long as they can cover their butts. The way I see it, the only sane method would be something that would neutralize toxins, either where they sit or in passage through the system.

        Techno-society long ago lost the sacred regard for the earth that’s found in many indigenous cultures. For example, the Native Americans would not even implement the wheel, because they knew it would destroy the earth, which they regarded as the Mother of all life. By contrast, the techno-addicted see it as ‘natural resources.’ The so-called progress of civilization is one of liquidating—raping and toxifying—our primary asset to turn it into things to feed the consumer orgy – for profit, convenience, fun and comfort. We have become exploiters rather than stewards.

        One thing is certain about most technology, regardless of benefit: It’s toxic. Somewhere along the line from resource acquisition (extractivism) to manufacture, use, and disposal, it’s chemically and energetically toxic and depleting to life forms and planet. And you’ll often hear that more technology is needed to counter the side effects of previous technology.

        To make matters worse, we’re so addicted to, and dependent upon, a way of life that is insanity made normal, most people don’t want to give anything up (wireless technology, for example, shouldn’t even exist). So we have the psyops called ‘sustainable development’ and the ‘green energy future.’ It’s mostly nonsense sustained by human character flaws and serves to keep those in power firmly in their seats.

        • Oh, I can agree with this kind of thinking well enough. Yet, I’m not a a total Luddite. I also can believe that technology, such as the tool that guns are, can be used with intention. That intention then gives rise to either ‘good’ or ‘bad’ depending upon perspective. Energy after all in it’s natural state is neutral. It is the intent of its use that manifests its benefit or detriment. I think we need to find a genuine balance and further think and believe we as a whole can do so, leaders or no leaders included.

          • I hear you. But one trouble is that the existence of a certain level of technology implies that the earth-liquidating mindset is in place. Slippery slope kinda thing. Also, the cultures that eschewed advancing technology had a much more cohesive intent than we have in the ‘developed’/Nature-alienated cultures, where it becomes near impossible to contain intent to the benign.

  6. Dagmar Palmerova | February 21, 2018 at 7:07 am | Reply

    How and where the “soybean oil” enters into the process? (Soybean is among top GMOs)

  7. Nestle, Monsanto and other companies who are working towards total control of our food and water supplies should be burned to the ground. They have no right to steal natural resources from the rest of humanity.

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