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May 19th, 2007
Thirsty Australia Advances Desalination Technology
he research will link with and inform related CSIRO research into membrane and carbon nanotube water filtration technologies.
Carbon nanotubes, molecules made of carbon atoms, are hollow and more than 50,000 times thinner than a human hair. Billions of these tubes serve as the pores in a desalination membrane.
The smooth inner walls of the nanotubes allow liquids and gases to rapidly flow through, while the miniscule pore size keeps out larger molecules.
Alan Gregory, urban water research leader at CSIRO, says, "In combination with other research projects led by CSIRO, we aim to reduce by up to 50 percent the amount of energy required to desalinate seawater using membranes. This same technology will have benefits for the treatment and recycling of wastewater."
CSIRO researchers are using nanotechnology to develop a new membranes for desalination with electrodialysis technology, which they say may lead to breakthrough technologies in cost-effective and highly efficient water recovery systems.
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