Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2013NE256B

An Innovative Graphene Oxide Filter for Drinking Water Contaminants Removal

Institute: Nebraska
Year Established: 2013 Start Date: 2013-03-01 End Date: 2014-12-31
Total Federal Funds: $24,054 Total Non-Federal Funds: $48,108

Principal Investigators: Yusong Li, Yongfeng Lu, Daniel Snow

Abstract: The overall goal of this research is to evaluate an innovative Graphene Oxide (GO) nanomaterial membrane for use in water purification. Membrane filtration is a common method for purification of drinking water, though scale formation and biofouling are recurring problems with this technology. A recent work, published in Science by a Nobel laureate Dr. Andre Geim, revealed a fascinating property of GO membrane: it can quickly pass water through, but will be impermeable to any other molecules including helium, one of the most difficult to contain elements in nature. Using expertise in the NU Electrical and Civil Engineering departments, we propose to develop water filters using this type of GO membranes to remove water contaminants typically found in drinking water supplies, including arsenic, uranium, nitrate, atrazine, strontium, manganese, and copper. This research clearly addresses the following concern listed under Nebraska’s Top 10 Water Challenges: Nitrate, uranium, arsenic, and pesticide contamination of drinking water supplies, and nitrate contamination of irrigation sources.