A nano-sieve that makes seawater drinkable in minutes
Seoul: Korean scientists have developed a special membrane that can sweeten even the brackish water in minutes. It is expected that this will solve the problem of obtaining fresh water to a great extent.
Many membranes and sieves have been made around the world to make very bitter water drinkable, but at one stage they become so moist that their usefulness diminishes.
To solve this problem, Dr. Onchol Wu and his colleagues at the Korean Institute of Civil Engineering and Building Technology (KICT) have developed a coaxial electrospin nanofiber membrane from nanotechnology, a new attempt at desalination.
Firstly, it does not cause problems like other membranes, secondly, its structure is 3D (three-dimensional) which makes even the brackish water drinkable in minutes.
Thus it is a very simple method in which polyvinylidene fluoride plays an important role in hexa fluoropropylene and also contains silica aerogel. Based on this, the membrane becomes super hydrophobic, meaning that water passes through it but does not stay in the form of droplets.
On the other hand, silica airgel has a much slower heat transfer rate than other polymers. Conventional membranes last only 50 hours, while nano-membranes last 30 days.
That is, they have an extraordinary ability to remove 99.99% of the salt in the water for a whole month. As such, it is one of the best technologies to make seawater drinkable for millions of people around the world.
In the next phase, Dr. Wu will build a pilot plant with this nano-membrane, followed by work on a real commercial plant, but its extraordinary success has been noted in the laboratory.