Narayana Aluru, professor of mechanical science and engineering

Indian-origin Expert Finds Salt Filtering to Make Seawater Drinkable

Narayana Aluru, a University of Illinois professor of mechanical science and engineering has succeeded to find an energy-efficient material with nanopores to filter salt from sea water and revolutionize lifestyle on earth and end the water crisis faced on earth currently.

Seemingly a rebuttal to poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s lament, “Water, water, every where, not a drop to drink”, the material measures just a nanometer in the forma of a sheet of molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) with very tiny holes called nanopores.

A computer model of a nanopore in a single-layer sheet of MoS2 shows that high volumes of water can pass through the pore using less pressure than standard plastic membranes. Salt water is shown on the left, fresh water on the right. Graphic courtesy of Mohammad Heiranian

It is specially designed to allow high volumes of water through but keep salt and other contaminates out, to make water desalinated. The team of engineers from the University of Illinois have designed several thin-film membranes and among them MoS2 stood out prominently with highest efficiency filtering up to 70 percent more water than graphene membranes currently used in desalination plants.

Narayana Aluru, who hails from India is not new to water crisis faced by millions in the country and his research, if turns out to be economical, may change contours of life on planet in the future. He himself says, “If we could find a low-cost, efficient way to purify sea water, we would be making good strides in solving the water crisis.”

Since the look-out for efficient desalination material has been a big issue, the work of Narayana Aluru will change course of research on finding the next-generation materials, he said. The nanopores material are efficient in terms of energy usage and fouling, which are issues that have plagued desalination technology for a long time.

The study was published in the journal Nature Communications.

One comment

  1. In case the innovation mentioned above is implemented and is succeeded then the water problem of the country could be resolved once for all. The India find enumerable problems in providing water especially during the summer. This country is full of genius what is needed they need recognition of their invention with some financial assistance to further their innovation.

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