Nanotube Membranes

Nanotube membranes offer possibility of cheaper desalination. ‘A nanotube membrane on a silicon chip the size of a quarter may offer a cheaper way to remove salt from water. Researchers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory have created a membrane made of carbon nanotubes and silicon that may offer, among many possible applications, a less expensive desalination. The nanotubes, special molecules made of carbon atoms in a unique arrangement, are hollow and more than 50,000 times thinner than a human hair. Billions of these tubes act as the pores in the membrane. The super smooth inside of the nanotubes allow liquids and gases to rapidly flow through, while the tiny pore size can block larger molecules. This previously unobserved phenomenon opens a vast array of possible applications.’

Nanotube Speedway. ‘With their atomically smooth surfaces, carbon nanotubes can act like a Slip ‘n Slide for gases and water, hastening the molecules through the nanotube’s channel at speeds far greater than would be expected from classical models of transport.’

Tags: Nanotubes, Nanotube Membranes, Desalination

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