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Super material filters Sydney Harbour water: Anti-fouling graphene-based membranes for effective water desalination

Keynote at AIM18, presented by Michael Seo

Date & Time: Thursday 22 February 2018, 14:15

Location: Olympic Room

Abstract

The inability of membranes to handle a wide spectrum of pollutants is an important unsolved problem for water treatment. Here we demonstrate water desalination via a membrane distillation process using a graphene membrane where water permeation is enabled by nano-channels of multi-layer, mismatched, partially-overlapping, graphene grains. Graphene films derived from renewable oil exhibit significantly superior retention of water vapour flux and salt rejection rates, and a superior anti-fouling capability under a mixture of saline water containing contaminants such as oils and surfactants, compared to commercial distillation membranes. Moreover, real world applicability of our membrane is demonstrated by processing sea-water from Sydney Harbour over 72 hours with macroscale membrane size of 4 cm2, processing ~0.5 L per day. Numerical simulations show that the channels between the mismatched grains serve as an effective water permeation route. Our research will pave the way for large-scale graphene-based anti-fouling membranes for diverse water treatment applications.

Published in Nature Communications online 14th of February 2018.

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-018-02871-3

Read more on the CSIRO blog https://blog.csiro.au/super-material-filters-sydney-harbour-water/

Presentation Video

Presenting Author

Photo ofMichael Seo

Michael Seo

CSIRO