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Carbon Nanotube Membranes For Water Purification: A Bright Future In Water Desalination

Rasel Das, Md. Eaqub Ali, S. B. A. Hamid, S. Ramakrishna, Z. Chowdhury
Published 2014 · Environmental Science

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Abstract Water pollutants have huge impacts on the entire living systems including terrestrial, aquatic, and aerial flora and fauna. In addition to conventional priority, and newly emerging micro/nano-pollutants, increasing global warming and consequent climate changes are posing major threats to the fresh water availability. Global warming and climate change are constantly increasing the salinity level of both land and sea water, dwindling the availability of existing fresh water for household, agriculture and industry. This has made it urgent to invent an appropriate water treatment technology that not only removes macro-, micro- and nano-pollutants but also desalinates water to a significant extent. Tip-functionalized nonpolar interior home of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) provides strong invitation to polar water molecules and rejects salts and pollutants. Low energy consumption, antifouling and self-cleaning functions have made CNT membranes extraordinary over the conventional ones. We comprehensively reviewed here molecular modeling and experimental aspects of CNT-membrane fabrication and functionalization for the desalination of both sea and brackish water. We present here the current problems and future challenges in water treatments. The article is potentially important for the hydrologists, membrane technologists, environmentalists and industrialists working in the field of water purification technologies to eradicate fresh water crisis in near future.
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