Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Weird Bio-Chemical Science

Guest blogging at Instapundit, Stephen Green links to a CNBC article about a filter that supposedly will turn sea water to potable fresh water.
A group of scientists in the U.K. created a membrane 'sieve' capable of removing salt from seawater to make it drinkable by using graphene, a wafer-thin sheet of carbon atoms.

Reporting their findings in the Nature Nanotechnology journal, researchers from the University of Manchester have claimed that the process of desalination – filtering salt-water to produce fresh water – could lead to cheaper filtration systems in the developing world.

They explained that by controlling the size of the pores in the membranes the team was able to filter out common salts passing through the material.
If this works out in practice, as well as in the lab, I can envision one of these in every life raft, ship's boat, yacht, and perhaps even for cruise ships too. A miniature one as part of every naval aviator's life vest would be good.

It could make life practical on many atolls with no reliable fresh water source. Coastal cities in dry places like California, Israel and Chile would be customers, too.