Sydney’s iconic harbour has played a starring role in the development of new CSIRO technology that could save lives around the world. Using their own specially designed form of graphene, ‘Graphair’, CSIRO scientists have supercharged water purification, making it simpler, more effective and quicker.
Water purification usually involves a complex process of several steps so this breakthrough could have a significant impact on the 2.1 billion people who don’t have clean, safe drinking water. Today, out of the 7.5 billion people on the planet over 5.4 billion of them have smartphones while 2.1 billion people still have no easy access to clean drinking water
Graphene is nothing but a single layer of carbon atoms arranged in a hexagonal lattice, and as a material graphene holds a lot of promise because despite its thin layer graphene exhibits amazing tensile strength and is super sensitive in conducting electricity.
Graphair doesn’t just make it easier to get clean water, it’s also more affordable than other kinds of graphene. It also manages to be both easy to use and relatively inexpensive while retaining the highly beneficial properties of the material.
Through a graphene-oxide membrane that the researchers have developed, a sieve can be designed with uniform pore size that is capable of filtering out even the smallest salts appearing in sea water — without affecting the flow of water flowing through the sieve.