Imagine having a way to purify any water, no matter how dirty it is. Imagine being able to remove 99% of all water contaminants in one small act, whether it is salt water, black swamp water, sea water, sewage water, etc.

You don’t have to imagine anymore. Thanks to the Australian firm, the international Commonwealth Scientific & Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), the research is finished. You are going to be hearing more about this organization with the phenomenal research they are accomplishing.

The last blog I wrote for my website introduced Graphene and how it was created by many organizations. CSIRO scientists have used a form of Graphene, Graphair, to create an inexpensive water filter of previously unknown capabilities. This filter can replace complex purification systems with a single step. In the future, with mass production, you will see inexpensive applications of water filtration systems.

CSIRO is an Australian manufacturing company which has transferred its capabilities to high tech products based on advanced manufacturing processes. With international materials and connections, they are globally competitive. They are working to decrease the manufacturing costs of carbon products such as Graphair.

Their technology could be used anywhere on Earth to purify water. Once the materials are mass produced, the Graphair filters will be small enough to use by individuals filtering water into a clean container or by commercial water purification plants at an industrial level. Whole cities may be provided clean water with one larger filter incorporating Graphair.  Perhaps, eventually, all fresh waters of the Earth could be purified using Graphair filters. Imagine!

I did imagine! I used the Graphair water purification method for the two main characters in my MINDREACHER adventure novel. Having a such filters was fortunate for them when they had to spend several days isolated in the wilds of a Laotian jungle while being chased by Thai terrorists. Terrorists tracked their location by intercepting satellite signals from nano-sized transceivers imbedded just under the skin behind their ears.  .

How large of a filtering production system do you want? Dream a little to visualize what can happen to mankind in the future with clean water. Sea water won’t have to go through intense distillation processes to remove salt molecules. The Graphair filter will do so with ease. Cities near the ocean in drought  situations, such as the current situation at the southern tip of Africa, will be able to use the Graphair filters to provide water for their citizens by removing salt and contaminants from sea water.

There are billionaires internationally who have dedicated portions of the income to good causes. I think clean water should be one of those causes using the CSIRO Graphair filtration system.. Once the system is financially equitable for villages, cities, governments, we will see clean water worldwide. What an impact on mankind.

What is Graphair, you ask? You would think , with all its capability to filter 99% of the contaminants out of water that it would be made from complex and expensive materials, right?

Surprise! Graphair is a form of Graphene made out of soybean oil! The one-atom-thick Graphene, a intensely strong carbon supermaterial, is currently expensive to produce. Graphair is cheaper to manufacture while maintaining the properties of Graphene. To the left is an image of soybean Graphene film created CSIRO and is held by tweezers.

One of the properties Graphair keeps is repelling water. Because of that property, CSIRO scientists created a Graphene film with nano-sized channels made of Graphene.  These channels allow  water to move through the Graphair but stops larger molecules. What happened to the 99% of contaminants? They built up on the outside of the filter, but the water continues through the filter.

On 16 February 2018, Michelle Star reported researchers stated, “This eliminates a step from other filtration methods,- removing the contaminants from the water before passing it through the membrane to prevent them from coating it.”  They went on to say, “All that’s needed is heat, our graphene, a membrane filter and a small water pump.”

The CSIRO teams include physicists, chemists and software developers who work with virtual technology to develop materials using nanoscience. They are working to describe nanostructures, predict their behavior and assess in which applications they can be used. Spinoffs will most likely be fast and furious once the Graphair is in production on a mass scale. They use some of the best supercomputers and latest mathematical models to determine variables within their data analysis. They work with structures from polymers and carbon nanostructures to metallic and oxide catalysts to remain “at the cutting edge of computational materials innovation.

With development of materials like Graphair from Australian CSIRO research teams, within your lifetime you may find all citizens of Earth having access to clean drinking water.

In my opinion, considering human health, the Graphair water filter application  is one of the most dynamic developments in the history of mankind. Thirsty people everywhere will want to purchase such a filtration system once it's on the market at a reasonable price. I can envision a simple filter at the top of a bottle being able to remove 99% of all contaminants and purify water as the water is poured into the bottle. I want one! :-)

Some of the research by CSIRO takes place in the Pawsey Supercomputing Centre pictured to the left, a world-class supercomputing centre in Kensington, Western Australia. It hosts new facilities, expertise and infrastructure to support advanced research in astronomy and geoscience. One of two national research supercomputing facilities, the National Computational Infrastructure (NCI) priority areas are to deliver and support world-class advanced information and communication technology infrastructure. They are working in areas of climate science, earth systems and national water management.

This is a phenomenal result of Australian research. I am overwhelmed with the implication it will have on this polluted Earth.


 Image © Copyright CSIRO