World-First Graphene-Based Filter Set to Improve Water Quality

In a research collaboration with Sydney Water, the team has demonstrated the success of the approach in laboratory tests on filtered water from the Nepean Water Filtration Plant in western Sydney, and is working to scale up the new technology.  (Image: via   pixabay  /  CC0 1.0)
In a research collaboration with Sydney Water, the team has demonstrated the success of the approach in laboratory tests on filtered water from the Nepean Water Filtration Plant in western Sydney, and is working to scale up the new technology. (Image: via pixabay / CC0 1.0)

A world-first graphene-based filter that can remove more than 99 percent of the natural organic matter in treated drinking water is being scaled up for possible use in conventional plants.

UNSW scientists have developed a world-first, graphene-based, laboratory-scale filter that can remove more than 99 percent of the ubiquitous natural organic matter left behind during conventional treatment of drinking water.

In a research collaboration with Sydney Water, the team has demonstrated the success of the approach in laboratory tests on filtered water from the Nepean Water Filtration Plant in western Sydney, and is working to scale up the new technology.

The results of some of the ground-breaking research are published in the journal Carbon. The project is led by Dr. Rakesh Joshi of the UNSW School of Materials Science and Engineering, in collaboration with Professor Veena Sahajwalla and Professor Vicki Chen of UNSW, and Dr. Heriberto Bustamante of Sydney Water.

Sydney Water supplies clean water to about 4.8 million people in Sydney, the Illawarra, and the Blue Mountains. These natural organic matter contaminants can affect the performance of direct filtration plants, reducing their capacity after heavy rain.

UNSW's Dr Rakesh Joshi (far left) and team members hand over water free of natural organic matter to Sydney Water's Dr Heriberto Bustamante (far right). (Provided by: University of New South Wales)

UNSW’s Dr Rakesh Joshi (far left) and team members hand over water free of natural organic matter to Sydney Water’s Dr Heriberto Bustamante (far right). (Image: Provided by University of New South Wales)

Dr. Joshi has an international reputation in this area, having published many highly cited articles including one in the journal Science on graphene oxide-based filtration in 2014 while working at the University of Manchester with Nobel Laureate Sir Andre Geim.

The UNSW team is upgrading the experimental rig to construct a small pilot plant that could be tested in the field.

Provided by: University of New South Wales [Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.]

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