We have recently talked here about water, as summer heat and drought are serious issues our planet has to face. While water sources are shrinking, the need for water continues to increase. That’s why we need new membrane-based desalination technologies that can effectively expand the available freshwater resources. However, controlled, time and cost-effective production of selective layers for membrane desalination remain a technological challenge.
In recent work, our scientists in cooperation with researchers from the Faculty of Physics of the University of Warsaw (Layered Materials Laboratory) demonstrated experimentally the desalinating properties of porous boron nitride. Theoretical reports have previously said that porous BN might be a good filter of salt. Now we have managed to prove that it’s true!
If you follow our news, you know that we’re in love with SIMS… ;) So…
Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry results have shown the clear separation of salt and water by the boron nitride film: salt has been retained and trapped in the near-surface region, while water permeated through its whole depth.
In our approach, the existence of pores results from properly selected growth conditions therefore this material is of great potential for large-scale production and swift commercial implementation. It’s just a first step to make a functional desalinating membrane that can be better than others – but it needs further research by scientists who specialize in the characterization of desalinating membranes.
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