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Graphene membranes with nanoslits for seawater desalination via forward osmosis

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Abstract

Stacked graphene (GE) membranes with cascading nanoslits can be synthesized economically compared to monolayer nanoporous GE membranes, and have potential for molecular separation. This study focuses on investigating the seawater desalination performance of these stacked GE layers as forward osmosis (FO) membranes by using molecular dynamics simulations. The FO performance is evaluated in terms of water flux and salt rejection and is explained by analysing the water density distribution and radial distribution function. The water flow displays an Arrhenius type relation with temperature and the activation energy for the stacked GE membrane is estimated to be 8.02 kJ mol−1, a value much lower than that of commercially available FO membranes. The study reveals that the membrane characteristics including the pore width, offset, interlayer separation distance and number of layers have significant effects on the desalination performance. Unlike monolayer nanoporous GE membranes, at an optimum layer separation distance, the stacked GE membranes with large pore widths and completely misaligned pore configuration can retain complete ion rejection and maintain a high water flux. Findings from the present study are helpful in developing GE-based membranes for seawater desalination via FO.

Graphical abstract: Graphene membranes with nanoslits for seawater desalination via forward osmosis

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Publication details

The article was received on 18 Aug 2017, accepted on 19 Oct 2017 and first published on 19 Oct 2017


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7CP05660E
Citation: Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2017, Advance Article
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    Graphene membranes with nanoslits for seawater desalination via forward osmosis

    M. Dahanayaka, B. Liu, Z. Hu, Q. Pei, Z. Chen, A. W. Law and K. Zhou, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2017, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C7CP05660E

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