Scientists have come up with a new way to purify drinking water quickly and efficiently using graphene oxide and sunlight. This advance method may prove to be a game changer for the countries like India.
The new technique combines bacteria-produced cellulose and graphene oxide - hailed as a wonder material - to form a bi-layered biofoam.
“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, associate professor at Washington University.
The process in which bi-layered biofoam is actually formed is also novel. It is just like how an oyster makes a pearl, the bacteria forms layers of nanocellulose fibers in which the graphene oxide flakes get embedded.
Also this new biofoam is also extremely light and inexpensive to make, making it a viable tool for water purification and desalination.
“Cellulose can be produced on a massive scale, and graphene oxide is extremely cheap - people can produce tonnes of it,” Singamaneni said. This research was published in the journal Advanced Materials.