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Perforene Desalinizes Salt Water For Cheap Drink Water

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Perforene Desalinizes Salt Water For Cheap Drink Water

A research at Lockheed Martin has pioneered a new technique for desalinizing salt water that is both cheaper and more effective than traditional methods.

Drinking water is the elixir of life, without it us weak humans simply couldn’t survive. In order to supply the vast quantities of water we drink, many countries rely on reverse osmosis or desalinization plants.

Both methods utilize a semipermeable membrane through which water flows and molecules are separated. For desalinization, the process typically employs a sheet of thin-film composite (TFC) membrane, made from a layer of polyimide stacked on a porous layer of polysulfone, but these membranes are thick and require large amounts of energy and pressure to blast water through them.

Lockheed Martins new technique uses a material called Perforene – made from single atom-thick sheets of graphene. Because these sheets are so thin, water is able to flow through them with ease, and with holes measuring around 100 nm in diameter, dissolved salt molecules are caught while the water passes on by.

graphene desalinizes saltwater 550x440 Perforene Desalinizes Salt Water For Cheap Drink Water

New Graphene Material Perforene Desalinizes Saltwater

Image Credit: Core Materials, 2010.

Under a microscope Perforene looks like chicken wire, but is actually 1000 times stronger than steel. The inventor of the material, John Stetson said:

“It’s 500 times thinner than the best filter on the market today and a thousand times stronger. The energy that’s required and the pressure that’s required to filter salt is approximately 100 times less.” [Reuters]

Unfortunately there’s no word when this technology might be commercially available, however the promise of low cost and efficiency to bring healthy drinking water to many areas of the world where people are still cut off from a regular supply.


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