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Page added on June 24, 2014

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Graphene could relieve world water shortage

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The rise of the world’s human population has long been a controversial topic. One of the main concerns is the availability of fresh drinking water. While water is certainly an abundant resource, desalination is expensive and consumes high levels of energy. The accompanying infographic shows how new technology using graphene could make the process more affordable and efficient.

Scientists at MIT pioneered the approach in 2012, but it wasn’t until recently that collaborations began to “enable the advancements of its unique applications.” But with most of its applications looking forward to the future, it seems it would be more urgent to address the current need in the developing world.

15 Comments on "Graphene could relieve world water shortage"

  1. GregT on Tue, 24th Jun 2014 9:29 am 

    Overpopulation is one of the biggest issues facing humanity, the planet Earth, and all life on it.

    Creating even more human technology to allow human populations to go even further into overshoot, will exacerbate the problem, and does absolutely nothing towards finding a solution.

    Our population numbers are unsustainable and will eventually crash. The further into overshoot we go, the worse the crash will be.

  2. Juan Pueblo on Tue, 24th Jun 2014 9:55 am 

    Greg, i agree with your overpopulation opinion, but creating new technologies that allow us to procrastinate, extend, delay, and deny is the one thing we are truly great at. We will continue trying to fix this in any possible way for as long as possible regardless of the consequences. That is our nature and we can’t change it in time.

  3. J-Gav on Tue, 24th Jun 2014 11:04 am 

    Making desalination cheaper and more efficient in a scalable way would be great, not a silver bullet, but a marked improvement over the present situation.

    Problem is, it ain’t here yet and I understand Juan’s doubts about it arriving in time to prevent severe crises in the water sector.

  4. Davy, Hermann, MO on Tue, 24th Jun 2014 11:26 am 

    Water stress is a predicament that will not be solved by a means other than fixing the other predicament namely population growth. Nature will fix the population predicament in a few years then we will be back to some naturally occurring clean water. Of course in those areas where man’s complete ecosystem destruction has occurred clean water will not return any time soon. In those areas the half-life will be measured in hundreds of years and thousands for NUK contamination.

  5. bobinget on Tue, 24th Jun 2014 12:32 pm 

    First of all, I’ll take a Colbert type Credit for pounding the table about Grapheme on these pages for almost a year. Reverse Osmosis using thinner, more energy efficient membranes won’t solve over population any more then a working malaria vaccine. The authors nor I, EVER made such claims.

    Desalination and decontaminating water using solar power will be of some help raising living standards for
    billions of people who at this point have never had
    access to clean water or used a toilet for that matter.

    People with adequate clean water have fewer children NOT more. Study after study proves as much to folks who can’t observe falling birth rates in every developed nation.

    Most non ranchers, farmers have difficulty grasping how much water is needed to grow any food. Cheaper methods of treating massive waste for reuse are still outside our grasp.

    By this century’s end, working a few hours outdoors in cities as far north as Seattle or New York could be fatal.
    How will we feed ourselves?

    My last thought:
    Don’t fall into that Religious Right anti science trap.

  6. kervennic on Tue, 24th Jun 2014 4:09 pm 

    Graphene is a concept material and a misleading word because no one has been able so far to grow large surfaces, especially free graphene (in a solution).

    Graphene does not exist in nature (only thick graphite does) ans it will require a lot of effort and energy to produce filters.

    And everybody knows that if we release pressure on the water side, population will still grow so that a more harsh and cruel limit is reached.

    Malthus is right, whatever the effort, poverty is there and remains the ultimate population check.

  7. kervennic on Tue, 24th Jun 2014 4:14 pm 

    “Study after study proves as much to folks who can’t observe falling birth rates in every developed nation. ”

    Wrong, country like france have had population depletion before industrialisation (which explains rivalry with growing england and germany).

    Today fertility rates are higher than before in many european countries… and even if that was not the case /like germany or italy) the void is quickly replenished by immigrants (like mexican in the US).
    This shift of population lower the pressure at home so that population growth can be sustained…

    Until we will all collapse together !

  8. GregT on Tue, 24th Jun 2014 4:47 pm 

    “By this century’s end, working a few hours outdoors in cities as far north as Seattle or New York could be fatal.”

    If we keep coming up with more ways to continue growing both our economies, and our populations, spending a few hours anywhere on the surface of the Earth by century’s end, could prove to be fatal. It might be too late already to stop our own extinction, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try. The time to stop ruining the planet is now, not 30, 40, or 50 years from now.

  9. J-Gav on Tue, 24th Jun 2014 5:12 pm 

    Kervennic – I understand the case you’re trying to make because I live in France. But you do need a little more clarity of expression if you wish to get your message across to English speakers/readers. “Qu’elle est belle ma Bretagne quand elle pleut.”

  10. Makati1 on Tue, 24th Jun 2014 8:55 pm 

    Just send your ‘investment’ money to the “second star on the left, and on till morning” in care of Jimminy Cricket.

  11. clueless on Tue, 24th Jun 2014 11:12 pm 

    J-gav give kervennic a break. It’s great that people of all nationalities is discovering this site…there are far too many delusional americans here commenting with no sense of realities, and who can’t accept the fact the reason this site was made is solely because of PEAK OIL that was brought about by your idiotic nation which is addicted to OIL.

    BTW, I live in the US too, but english is just my second language.

  12. Davy, Hermann, MO on Wed, 25th Jun 2014 5:41 am 

    Clue, the old adage if you don’t like it here move on. We don’t want you here. If and when collapse happens it will be slugs like you that will offer no solutions or assistance to neighbors. A slug leaves slime so slime back to where you came from.

  13. Makati1 on Wed, 25th Jun 2014 6:21 am 

    Who needs a water vapor condenser? The farm is located on the Pacific side of Luzon and gets an average of ~10 feet of rain annually, scattered over the 12 months. Mostly from Pacific storms and showers. And, yes, some of them are typhoons, but then no worse than the US south East.

    That is better then the East side that gets only ~6 feet of rain and it is concentrated in a 4-5 month period. Water management is the number one priority on the farm. Controlling erosion is the main problem, not having enough water is not likely to happen.

  14. Davy, Hermann, MO on Wed, 25th Jun 2014 6:35 am 

    Mak, the article is not about the pacific side of the P’s it is about strategies for water stressed areas. We have plenty of good water here in the Ozarks of MO even during drought periods. We don’t have AGW typhoons in the pike that will destroy permaculture efforts on hilly ground. Good luck with that kind erosion. What about the refugees coming up into the hills looking for food in the cities that will not be rebuilt with no food to source. Good luck with that Mak.

  15. J-Gav on Wed, 25th Jun 2014 10:16 am 

    Clueless – I thought my critique of Kervennic’s post was measured and on target – since the wording made the message unclear. If that’s wrong then i stand corrected.

    In addition, there was no animosity in my response – evidenced by the concluding quote in French, which is a reference to a well-known song saying how beautiful the Brittany region of France is when it rains. The name Kervennic suggest he comes from that region, one of my favorite regions in France. In any case, I encourage him to continue participating on this website.

    As for your reference to ‘MY’ “idiotic nation,” I’m afraid I can’t take credit for that since 1 – I live abroad and, 2 – I haven’t voted since I discovered proof of how elections have almost all been rigged since JFK (and how ex-pat votes got routinely ‘lost’ somehow anyway).

    Finally, Davy has a point – Why would you choose to live in such a disreputable place?

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