Imagine if you could create clean water from any source – no matter how dirty – in just one step. Australian scientists have managed to do just that with a new filter made from soybean-based graphene film. It’s so effective that it can make even the filthiest water drinkable – and it’s simpler, cheaper and more environmentally-friendly than other methods out there.
The filter, called Graphair, is made from a graphene film with microscopic channels that trap pollutants while letting clean water through. Scientists at CSIRO were able to develop a graphene-based film that is cheaper and more environmentally-friendly than typical graphene. It could have real implications for the 2.1 billion people who don’t have access to clean, safe drinking water.
Related: Newly discovered property of graphene could lead to infinite clean energy
What makes Graphair so exciting is that it doesn’t require a series of steps to get water clean. The problem with other filtration systems is that they can get clogged with chemical and oil-based pollutants, which must be removed before you can even start filtering. With just four tools (heat, Graphair, a membrane filter and a water pump), you can simply run the water through a filter and you are good to go. Researchers even used the system on the water in the Sydney Harbor and it came out clean enough to drink.
Images via CSIRO