Scaled development of graphene membranes and development of a demonstration laboratory purification device for commercial trials

CSIRO has invented a novel membrane using their patented form of graphene, called GraphAir. This membrane has been shown to produce pure water at a reduced cost compared to established technology. GraphAir’s competitive advantage is that it is an anti-fouling, anti-scaling, long-lasting, high-flux graphene membrane used in membrane distillation devices to produce purified water in 1-2 steps compared to 6-10 steps in conventional systems. Furthermore, GraphAir has been able to remove from water dissolved NaCl, metal salts, detergents, mineral oils, acids, alkalines, mine tailings, and per-/poly-fluoroalkyl (PFAS) chemicals.

Currently GraphAir has been demonstrated at laboratory scale and is capable of producing 0.5 L/day of pure water from 10 cm2 of membrane. Over the course of this project the GraphAir production will be scaled to 500 cm2/day and a demonstration GraphAir water purification device will be developed which will be able to produce commercially significant volumes (50 L/day) of purified water.

A GraphAir-based water purification device is expected to find use in the production of laboratory water (a $US 10.3 billion market growing at 10% per year), and eventually in other water purification markets such as semiconductor water, biopharma water, waste water treatment and remote potable water. It has the potential to not only create economic value but also significant social and environmental impact for Australia. GraphAir has attracted interest from industry players and water authorities.