Home Green Energy IIT-Madras Team mimic natural processes to convert saline seawater into drinkable freshwater

IIT-Madras Team mimic natural processes to convert saline seawater into drinkable freshwater

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IIT-Madras Team mimic natural processes to convert saline seawater into drinkable freshwater

A multinational team of scientists has pioneered a novel method of seawater treatment. They enhanced existing strategies by utilizing carbon nanotubes and graphene nanopores. The study findings were published in the journal “Desalination” by IIT Madras, Swinburne University of Technology, and Delft University of Technology.

Key Highlight:

  • A multinational team of scientists has devised a unique method to convert seawater to freshwater.
  • Scientists from IIT-Madras, Swinburne University of Technology (Australia), and Delft University of Technology (Netherlands) joined forces to convert saline seawater into drinkable freshwater by mimicking natural processes.
  • The researchers improved the permeation capabilities of graphitic carbon materials by using carbon nanotubes and graphene nanopores.
  • Scientists created a conical/hourglass-shaped water inlet based on aquaporins’ hourglass-like shape.
  • Researchers discovered hourglass-shaped nanopores improve water permeation, which means “similar mechanisms can be reproduced in a different system of nanopores” to improve desalination efficiency, says team leader Professor Sarith P. Sathian.

Scientists from all over the world have worked together to come up with a new way to turn seawater into freshwater.

Scientists from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) – Madras, Swinburne University of Technology (Australia), and Delft University of Technology (the Netherlands) came together to turn saline seawater into drinkable fresh water. They were inspired by how nature works.

The scientists used carbon nanotubes and graphene nanopores to improve the permeation abilities of graphitic carbon materials. The problem with the previous methods was that they were made of tubes, making it hard for water to get in and out of them.

To fix this, scientists took a look at nature and found a way to help. The hourglass-shaped shape of aquaporins led scientists to add a conical or hourglass-shaped inlet for water to pass through.

Carbon nanomaterial-based membranes have been used to separate salts from water because they allow water to pass through them.

Professor Sarith P. Sathian, who led the study, says that hourglass-shaped nanopores allow more water to pass through, which means “the same mechanisms can be used in a different system of nanopores that can provide a higher desalination efficiency.”

The study also found that “ion rejection is largely dependent on the size of the CNTs.” This means that a more efficient desalination method could be developed without sacrificing how much salt is removed during the filtering process.

Vishnu Prasad Kurupath from IIT Madras, Dr. Sridhar Kumar Kannam from Swinburne University of Technology, Australia, and Dr. Remco Hartkamp from the Delft University of Technology, the Netherlands, were part of the team that worked together. Vigyan Prasar is the first person to report on the study’s findings in the journal “Desalination,” which is called that.

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