Graphene oxide membranes for efficient oil/water separation in marine environments

In the history of the world, the focus has always been in know all the proprieties of the carbon atom, more specifically the allotropes forms of carbon like graphene. Graphene was discovered by Andre Geim and Knstantin Novoselov in 2004, but until 2010, when “graphene fever” spurred the world, they hadn’t won the Nobel Prize of Physics.


Graphene has attracted the attention in the nanotechnology due to its numerous applications derived from its excellent mechanical and electrical proprieties. However, there is a new material derived from graphene that presents interesting proprieties with wide application in the field of the environment. This material is called graphene oxide.

Graphene oxide (GO), can be defined as a graphene membrane with different oxygen groups. GO can be synthesized in a simple way through an oxidation process of the graphite, known as the Hummers method. Through that method, you can make a reaction of the combination of potassium permanganate (KMnO4), sodium nitrate (NaNO3) and concentrated sulfuric acid (H2SO4). (Joshi et al., 2014)

The interest of this material lives in that this can be used as a precursor for make graphene or like a graphene material, since its range of applications is wide. This wide range of applications is based on its good electrical proprieties, high flexibility and high breaking resistance. For all of that, this material is good for remove undesirables contaminants in the water.


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Abraham, J., Vasu, K. S., Williams, C. D., Gopinadhan, K., Su, Y., Cherian, C. T., … & Carbone, P. (2017). Tunable sieving of ions using graphene oxide membranes. Nature Nanotechnology, 12 (6), 546-550.

Joshi, R. K., Carbone, P., Wang, F. C., Kravets, V. G., Su, Y., Grigorieva, I. V., … & Nair, R. R. (2014). Precise and ultrafast molecular sieving through Graphene oxide membranes. Science, 343 (6172), 752-754.

Li, Y., Zhang, H., Fan, M., Zheng, P., Zhuang, J., & Chen, L. (2017). A robust salt-tolerant superoleophobic alginate/Graphene oxide aerogel for efficient oil/water separation in marine environments. Scientifics Reports (Nature Publisher Group),7, 46379.


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