Graphene-based Nanomembranes for Waste Water Treatment and Desalination

M. N. Uddin, M. M. Rahman, and R. Asmatulu
Wichita State University, Kansas, United States

Keywords: Graphene Films, Nanofiltration, Wastewater Treatment, Desalination, Fresh Water

Among many other options, nanoscale membranes and nanofilter systems seem to be better options to solve the global water problems due to their low energy cost and simple operational process to purify waste water. The produced water can be used for drinking, agriculture, gardening, medical, industrial and other purposes. Most of the nanofilter-based multifunctional filtration systems do not require large infrastructures or centralized systems, and can be portable to the remote regions for efficient water treatment. Graphene was discovered as a single-layer of isolated graphite atoms arranged in 2D hexagonal shape, making it the thinnest and strongest material known to date. Despite its intriguing mechanical, thermal and electrical properties, usage of graphene for different industries has not been investigated in detail. The present study investigated the availability and practical use of graphene thin films for removal of bacteria, viruses, heavy metals and ions, complex organic and inorganic compounds, and other pathogens and pollutants present in various water sources (e.g., surface, ground water, and industrial water). The graphene nanomembranes can also be used for desalination of the salt water for continuous fresh water production.