Keynote at AIM18, presented by Michael Seo
Date & Time:
Thursday 22 February 2018, 14:15
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.
Read more on the CSIRO blog https://blog.csiro.au/super-material-filters-sydney-harbour-water/