Scientists for a long time worked on the creation of porous carbon nanotubes, which are able to purify the unsuitable sea water from salt and make it drinkable. At the same time, scientists also found that the water permeability in carbon nanotubes (CNTs) with diameters smaller than millimicrons (0.8 nm) exceeds the permeability compared to wider carbon nanotubes.
Researchers from the Livermore National Laboratory, in collaboration with researchers from the Northeastern University, created carbon-based porous nanotubes created from carbon atoms. Their diameter is 50,000 times thinner than human hair. The super smooth inner surface of the nanotube provides good water permeability, and the porous structure effectively delays large salt ions.
As many people know, the reserves of fresh water on the Earth are quickly exhausted, which threatens all of humanity. Purification from salt of sea water with the help of carbon nanofilters will allow to provide the world population with sufficient quantity of drinking water.
“We found that thin carbon nanotubes are excellent at filtering water from salt,” the scientists said.
More detailed results of the study were published in the scientific publication Science.