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Home > News > Nanotech roundup: turning seawater into drinking water, and body power

March 1st, 2014

Nanotech roundup: turning seawater into drinking water, and body power

Abstract:
This month's roundup includes the promise of a filter that extracts salt from seawater, and a battery powered by the heart.

A perfect sieve

Graphene, the sheet of carbon just one atom thick, has already featured a few times on this blog thanks to its unique promise for many applications. Could it even turn seawater into drinking water? Scientists at Manchester University think it may be possible using a filter made from laminates of graphene oxide, a form of graphene with oxygen-containing molecules attached to it.

This laminate can perform a magic trick: in the dry state it doesn't let any gas molecule through except water and is vacuum-tight. When wet, however, nanoscale channels open up and water flows through rapidly, without any resistance. Any particle, molecule or ion that can't squeeze through the channels is left behind.

Source:
theguardian.com

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