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Comment Re:Reverse osmosis is an old hat (Score 1) 111

Desalination of seawater by reverse osmosis is an old hat. The main challenge from an energy POV is the high pressure differential (and the flow, of course) needed. This won't change much with a new membrane.

Of course, a new membrane might have other desirable properties (cost, robustness, whatever), so every new option is a Good Thing, but the abstract suggests that graphene is something new here. It isn't. Just one more tool in an old chest.

That's what they're hoping from TFA:

"When the capillary size is around one nanometre, which is very close to the size of the water molecule, those molecules form a nice interconnected arrangement like a train," Dr Nair explained.
"That makes the movement of water faster: if you push harder on one side, the molecules all move on the other side because of the hydrogen bonds between them. You can only get that situation if the channel size is very small."

...

"This is our first demonstration that we can control the spacing [of pores in the membrane] and that we can do desalination, which was not possible before. The next step is to compare this with the state-of-the-art material available on the market," said Dr Nair.

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