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UNSW researchers are using 'wonder material' graphene to generate sustainable energy in municipal wastewater treatment plants.
UNSW scientists that developed a graphene filter to improve the quality of drinking water have discovered a new application for the very thin form of carbon – the ability for graphene to purify methane from biogas produced in wastewater plants.
Research - Team - Dr - Rakesh - Joshi
The research team, led by Dr Rakesh Joshi of the UNSW School of Materials Science and Engineering, has demonstrated at lab-scale that graphene membranes can be used to extract methane present in biogas generated during the breakdown of organic materials in wastewater plants.
The research indicates that it is possible to purify methane from biogas in a wastewater treatment plant environment, creating a potential source of renewable energy. Biogas, a mixture of methane and other impurities, is produced during anaerobic digestion in wastewater treatment – the process of bacteria seperating biodegradable material.
Collaboration - Sydney - Water - Findings - Technology
"We are working in close collaboration with Sydney Water to convert these findings into a retrofittable technology for wastewater treatment plants," Dr Joshi said. "Graphene, a thin sheet of carbon atoms that forms in a honeycomb pattern, is considered a wonder material which is stronger than steel. Our team focuses graphene research to generate innovative solutions that industry can use."
UNSW's Graphene Team, in partnership with Sydney Water, has already successfully demonstrated a graphene-based, laboratory-scale filter that can remove more than 99% of the ubiquitous natural organic matter left behind during conventional treatment of drinking water.
Group - Research - Graphene - Methane
"Our group's latest research indicates that it is possible to use graphene to extract and refine methane...
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