IIT Madras researchers identify molecular mechanisms for desalination techniques

The study was granted to IIT Madras by the Department of Science and Technology, as part of the water technology initiative

IIT Madras researchers identify molecular mechanisms for desalination techniques IIT Madras (Source: Official)
Press Trust of India | Nov 18, 2021 - 6:51 p.m. IST
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CHENNAI: Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras (IIT-M), on Thursday claimed to have identified the possible molecular mechanisms in water-flow for desalination techniques to convert sea water into drinking water.

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The research team took inspiration from specific biological systems for making efficient desalination membranes and the study was granted to IIT-M by the Department of Science and Technology, as part of the water technology initiative.

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"The results of the study, involving Australia-based Swinburne University of Technology and The Netherlands-based Delft University of Technology, are useful in the design of novel reverse osmosis systems that utilise carbon nano tubes-based membranes," a press release said here.

Scientific communities worldwide were looking at ways on the use of saline water in seas and oceans converted into freshwater for household and industrial purposes. With India's 7,000-km coastline, desalinating sea water has been considered as a solution to solve water woes. Through various desalination techniques that exist in the market, the high-energy expenditure by the technologies restricts widespread use, the release said.

The team at IIT Madras, led by professor Sarith P Sathian of the Department of Applied Mechanics, has been working on a nano-scale water transport through carbon nano tubes and graphene nanopores for developing better desalination membranes.

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"Since the desalination process requires energy, large amounts of fresh water, a cyclic dependency ensues between freshwater availability and energy availability known as water-energy nexus," Sathian said.

The researchers include Vishnu Prasad Kurupath (IIT-M), Sridhar Kumar Kannam (Swinburne University of Technology, Australia) and Remco Hartkamp (Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands) the release added.


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