A team of researchers, led by the NRI scientist Dr. Narayana Aluru, professor at University of Illinois of mechanical science and engineering, have claimed developing a nanometre-thick sheet of molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) material designed in a way to let high volumes of water to pass through extremely tiny holes called ‘nano-pores’, while blocking salt and other contaminants.
In this case using the Blue Waters supercomputer the researchers found that a single layer of MoS2 showed great efficiency filtering through upto 70% more water than the commonly used graphene membranes, and also dramatically reducing the operating costs, involved.
If this research - turns out to be successful and economical will bring significant changes, to the present form of life on the planet. He himself says, “Finding materials for efficient desalination has been a big issue, and I think this work lays the foundation for next-generation materials….If we could find a low-cost, efficient way to purify sea water, we would be making good strides in solving the water crisis”.
The next steps for the researchers are partnering with the manufacturers, who can bring their commercial models based on the proposed desalination technique.