True, the technology is a couple years away, but graphene-based Perforene developed by Lockheed could revolutionize desalinization and water purification.
Lack of freshwater is becoming an increasingly desperate situation, typical desalinization is energy intensive and expensive, but a graphene water filter could be 100x more efficient.
Graphene, a nanoscale material made up of pure carbon, is just one atom thick. It is porous on the molecular scale which, like chicken-wire keeps chickens in the pen, keeps everything but water molecules inside the filter.
A typical water filter would do nothing to take salt from seawater, but graphene’s molecular filtering works down to the size of a salt molecule, and salt is just too big to fit through the mesh.
Current desalination is an energy intensive process known as reverse osmosis. The simplicity of graphene as a molecular water filter could cut energy costs by 100 times, and Lockheed’s prototype Perforene drop-in replacement filter could be ready for testing in current desalination plants by the end of the year.
Molecular filtering using graphene could find applications in the medical field, such as dialysis machines. Another good application would be to clean the wastewater from hydraulic fracturing wells.
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Join the Discussion4031 total comments so far. What's your opinion ?
Frieso Pouwer-15,000 tons of gold exist in the earths ocean. Concentrations in the Atlantic, and most of the Pacific, are about 60 to 180 fmol/L- or 35 parts per quadrillion. This boils down to about 70-100 grams per cubic mile of sea water. My conservative specs reveal up to 5-10 gold ounces per cubic mile of sea water. Nano graphene water treatment filters and some scientific tweaking and away we go!
Minerals were briefly mentioned as an additional filtration possibility. Gold is a mineral is it not?
@HoyBoy Imagine that, building a graphene water filter system that would harvest out gold, silver, platinum, and a host of other valuable minerals. Never again will people use old methods such as using mercury like galamseyers in the Ghana area. Still its hard to get gold to become an aqueous solution in water. There would have to be some method to make up process water before it would be ready for the graphene filter. At the same time those processes could be harvested in the graphene filter setup and then reused.
Okay, sounds to good to be true. Salt molecules too big but a water molecule is not. Alright I can buy that. What keeps the graphene filter from plugging and how quickly would it happen. Is graphene strong enough to handle higher pressures need to push the water past the salt that is blocked and then through the graphene mesh. Sounds like great tech for a water filter, I would like to see the research on it for its viability though before I would endorse it.
@Frieso Pouwer well, i guess they'll figure that out once the prototype is finished this year. I'm thinking that it probably won't be so much under pressure but in the flow of the water so that the water will continually sweep away the filtered particles and molecules. Olive oil filters use a vibrator to keep the silt moving, otherwise the silt would simply clog up every pore and stop flow altogether.
@Frieso Pouwer @bnjroo great link you found there. thanks! the only thing i found was the rejected trademark request, so i guess lockheed can't trademark "Perforene" http://www.trademarkia.com/perforene-85464524.html