Boron nitride nanotube membranes outstrip carbon copies

One approach to improve the desalination process would be to design a more efficient membrane. Embedding nanotubes in the membrane is one area of research. Investigation of water transport through nanotubes in the past has primarily focused on carbon nanotubes, where the water has been found to flow extraordinarily fast in addition to rejecting salt ions.The Computational Biophysics Group at the Australian National University has designed one such membrane, constructed from an array of nano-sized tubes embedded in a silicon nitride membrane. The preliminary computational results have shown that, using the same operating pressure as current desalination methods, 100% salt rejection is achieved for concentrations twice that of seawater with the water flowing four times faster. This article was first published in the May/June issue of Desalination & Water Reuse magazine.

One approach to improve the desalination process would be to design a more efficient membrane. Embedding nanotubes in the membrane is one area of research. Investigation of water transport through nanotubes in the past has primarily focused on carbon nanotubes, where the water has been found to flow extraordinarily fast in addition to rejecting salt ions.The Computational Biophysics Group at the Australian National University has designed one such membrane, constructed from an array of nano-sized tubes embedded in a silicon nitride membrane.

The preliminary computational results have shown that, using the same operating pressure as current desalination methods, 100% salt rejection is achieved for concentrations twice that of seawater with the water flowing four times faster.

This article was first published in the May/June issue of Desalination & Water Reuse magazine.


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