Wastewater filtration with graphene oxide

Monash University

Monday, 20 February, 2017

Australian SMEs Clean TeQ and Ionic Industries have joined forces with a leading graphene researcher to develop next-gen water and wastewater filtration technology. The R&D team behind the project recently won funding through the Australian Government’s Cooperative Research Centres Projects (CRC-P) program.

The wastewater filtration products will be based on the latest advances in nanotechnology, using graphene oxide to dramatically improve performance and reduce current energy use. Their development will be led by Associate Professor Mainak Majumder from Monash University, who last year helped perfect a technique that could create graphene filters on an industrial scale.

“Graphene has special properties which could disrupt current commercial filtration techniques and significantly reduce the energy required to filter wastewater,” Associate Professor Majumder said. Indeed, with incredible performance characteristics and a range of potential applications, graphene has long been lauded as something of a wonder material.

Clean TeQ Executive Director Peter Voigt said the CRC-P funding will support the delivery of low-energy, continuous flow processes for the water and wastewater treatment market — processes which will be critical to overcoming the freshwater scarcity that currently plagues the energy, food and industrial markets.

“Contaminated freshwater sources, such as ground and surface water and municipal wastewater, are excellent sources of fresh water provided they can be economically treated,” said Voigt. “We plan to be the first to take this breakthrough technology to market in Australia and in developing countries such as China, India, South America and South Africa, where access to clean fresh water is a significant issue.”

Water researcher Professor Ana Deletic, director of Monash Infrastructure, said the new system will “modernise Australia’s current wastewater management from the traditional treatment approach to a low energy consumption, resource recovery approach”. She and her fellow team members aim to deliver working products in the next 2–3 years.

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