Clean water with nanotube membranes

Worldwide, about 1.1 billion people lack access to safe drinking water, and it’s not just a third world problem: we have water shortages here in the US, too. Turning seawater into drinking water is one way to increase the supply, but right now it’s a slow, expensive, energy-consuming process.

Nanotube membranes could do the trick much more quickly while using 75% less energy than today’s techniques. Even better, nanomembranes could be made selective: for example, they could remove poisons like arsenic from drinking water while allowing the calcium we need for healthy bones and teeth to stay in.

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