Researchers just developed a revolutionary new graphene water filter that could provide fresh drinking water to millions of people around the world. The innovative design filters liquids nine times faster than anything else on the market, and it can capture viruses and bacteria – anything larger than one nanometer (which is roughly 100,000 times smaller than the diameter of a human hair) cannot get through the graphene layer.
Graphene has a remarkable ability to filter liquids, however it’s also difficult and expensive to produce. PhD candidate and researcher Abozar Akbari stated, “It’s been a race to see who could develop this technology first, because until now graphene-based filters could only be used on a small scale in the lab.”
By creating a viscous graphene oxide material that can be spread thin with a blade the team opened up a world of possibilities for large-scale filtering of water and other commercial liquids. Graphene’s lattice-like structure is so slender it is considered to be two-dimensional, instead of three.
The next stop for the filter is the commercial market, where businesses can utilize the superior nano-filtration system. Hopefully products made with the filter will soon be headed to countries where people in need of fresh water can benefit from the technology.