GO Membranes project develops low cost water purification system using graphene oxide based coating technology

CPI has collaborated on a project with G2O Water Technologies (G2O), Unilever and William Blythe to develop a scalable process using graphene oxide to purify water for use in next generation point-of-use water purification systems.

Despite the UN’s declared Human Right to Water Policy, almost 30% of the world’s population does not have access to safe drinking water. The development of membrane filters is critical to water-purification systems and a means of addressing the global challenges of poor water quality, pollution of aquatic surface water sources, and water scarcity. Overcoming the inherent limitations of conventional membrane materials to purify contaminated water at low cost while retaining high water flux is necessary to provide the next generation of water purification systems.

G2O Water Technologies (G2O) has developed a graphene oxide based coating technology that has shown improved separation of contaminants vs. uncoated membranes. The technology allows filtration of material, such as salts, at a low cost base, which would normally require more complex solutions which may not be available/affordable to poorer consumers.

During the three year project, CPI worked with partners to develop an industrially scalable process by developing a graphene oxide based formulation compatible with existing coating methods suitable for membranes.. CPI’s expertise in formulation and printed electronics was key to proving the scalability of the coating process.

Prototype modules were created using coated membranes prepared by G2O and CPI to allow the consortium to validate its improved performance and benchmark it against incumbent systems.

Tony Jackson, Director of Formulation at CPI, said: ​“We are delighted to have played our part in such an important project, which has the potential to address one of the world’s pressing problems – that around clean drinking water.  By developing  key improvements to existing technology, we have demonstrated that UK innovation can not only help people locally, but also in the wider world. ”

Chris Wyres, CEO at G2O Water Technologies Ltd, said: ​“The project has demonstrated the utility of G2O’s technology to transform the performance of membranes, reducing the cost and environmental impact of water treatment and providing a route to address the growing global challenge of water scarcity.”

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