Even though 70 per cent of our Earth is covered by water, the world still faces the issue of drinking water shortage. While saltwater processing is expensive and time-consuming, a group of researchers have now come up with a new method to make salt water drinkable.
The scientists at the University of Tokyo's Department of Chemistry and Biotechnology have devised a novel way to turn salt water into drinking water with the use of fluorine-based nanostructures.
The researchers chemically manufactured nanoscopic fluorine rings, implanted them in an otherwise impenetrable lipid layer, and made test filtration membranes, eventually making a structure that is similar to that of organic molecules found in cell walls.
How Does It Work?
Numerous samples were tested by the researchers with varied nanoring sizes going from one nanometre to two nanometres. Furthermore, they also examined the presence of chlorine ions on both sides of the membrane -- a significant element of salt after sodium.
The scientists found the smaller test sample to be more prosperous, defecting incoming salt molecules. They also noted that bigger ones performed more reasonable than other desalination methods, including carbon nanotube filters.
The filters outperformed the scientists' expectations and were nearly a thousand times better than current industrial devices used for the purification method. As per the researchers, existing high-tech carbon nanotube desalination devices were approximately 2,400 times slower than the fluorine ones, and they managed to do it while consuming less energy.
However, they did highlight that synthesising the material utilised in the sample was an energy-intensive process, and they are currently working on the tech further to bring down the overall costs of operating the device.
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