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INDUSTRIAL ENGINEER – VOLUME 45, NUMBER 5
Lockheed’s graphene membranes could optimize desalinization plants
Lockheed Martin Corp. as a filter manufacturers could have a new way to produce thin carbon membranes with regular holes about a nanometer in size. Nanometer holes large enough to let water pass through but small enough to block salt molecules in seawater. It would take much less energy to push seawater through the pure carbon or graphene sheets, than is necessary with other filters. Developing countries could get more access to potable water without building large, expensive reverse osmosis pumping stations. The filter is 500 times thinner and thousand times stronger than the best filter on the market and the energy required would be 100 times less. Although the company is still working with the thin material while not tearing it, Lockheed officials expect a prototype soon. Lockheed also stated its filter could be used for dialysis in healthcare and could clean chemicals from the water used in hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” of oil and gas wells.
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