In a bid to make dirty water fit for drinking, a team of scientists have come up with a device made up of “Veritable wonder material” graphene oxide sheets. The team of researchers developed the new device at Washington University in St. Louis. The graphene oxide sheets have been used in the device due to the fact that it is a good conductor of heat and electricity and turns out to be very useful in treating contaminated water. “We hope that for countries where there is ample sunlight, such as India, you’ll be able to take some dirty water, evaporate it using our material, and collect fresh water.” said Srikanth Singamaneni, one of the researcher. As per the new experiment, newly developed graphene-based biofoam sheets are laid on contaminated water, and with use on sun-rays the bacteria-produced cellulose and graphene oxide to form a bi-layered biofoam to convert filthy water into drinkable.
“The design of the material is novel here. You have a bi-layered structure with light-absorbing graphene oxide filled nanocellulose at the top and pristine nanocellulose at the bottom. When you suspend this entire thing on water, the water is actually able to reach the top surface where evaporation happens, ” Singamaneni said.
“Light radiates on top of it, and it converts into heat because of the graphene oxide, but the heat dissipation to the bulk water underneath is minimized by the pristine nanocellulose layer. You don’t want to waste the heat; you want to confine the heat to the top layer where the evaporation is actually happening.”
The cellulose underneath the bi-layered bioform ultimately acts as a sponge which then evaporates at the top most layer. While evaporating, the water leaves behind suspended residue or salts.
[with agency inputs]