Graphene and Graphene Oxide
Graphene is made from carbon atoms and is known for being the strongest and thinnest material in the world along with being lightweight. It has been described as a “wonder material” with world-changing applications.
A derivative of graphene – graphene oxide – is created by the oxidation of graphite, a cheap material that is readily-available. Graphene oxide is judged as relatively easy to process and is dispersible in water.
G2O coats existing polymer membranes with graphene oxide which results in:
- The creation of a hydrophilic surface on the membrane: this mean it attracts water and ensures more water that comes into contact with the membrane will pass through.
- The spacing between the graphene oxide platelets act as a natural filter: therefore, water can pass through the filter while larger, contaminant molecules are prevented.
- A “capillary effect” means there is less resistance to water passing through membrane. This allows more water through while excluding contaminants, therefore making the process more efficient, faster and cheaper through reducing energy.