Making Saltwater Drinkable is Graphene's Latest Miracle

By Michael Zhao on at

All signs point towards graphene being the supermaterial that pushes humanity into the future we've been dreaming of. From impossibly fast transistors to curing foot odor, there's seemingly no limit to Graphene's potential. Converting saltwater to potable water in the most efficient manner possible is just its latest party trick.

This process, developed by MIT researchers, involves pushing saltwater through a one-atom-thick graphene filter covered in tiny holes that are just big enough for water to pass through, but small enough to block out salt molecules. The process is essentially reverse osmosis, which is nothing new, but due to the incredible thinness of the graphene filter, this method is 2-3x more efficient than conventional methods by two to three orders of magnitude. That's up to 1000 times faster! Rumour has it that if you run fresh water through the same process, it turns into wine. But don't hold us to that one. [Nano Letters via PhysOrg via Geekosystem]

Image via Cohen-Tanugi and Grossman/American Chemical Society