As Klaus Schwab promised, The Great Reset / 4th Industrial Revolution is “a tsunami of digitalization”.
Sorry I didn’t have time to make a story today, life’s hard and likely short now.
However, the resources below follow a storyline.
Since 2014, the Smart Water Summit has been bringing Vendor Partners together with North American Water Utilities – in an intimate setting to begin updating technology and improving North American Water Utility Infrastructure. The Smart Water Summit is a quality, hands-on experience where high level Utility Executives interact with Industry Leading Vendors, analysts and federal agencies. Summit Attendees are able to stay current with the latest advances in technology by participating in Vendor Boardroom Presentations, The Summit Solution Showcase, and Executive Premier Presentations.
Graphene smart membranes can control water
JULY 12, 2018
Researchers at The University of Manchester’s National Graphene Institute (NGI) have achieved a long-sought-after objective of electrically controlling water flow through membranes, as reported in Nature.
This is the latest exciting membranes development benfitting from the unique properties of graphene. The new research opens up an avenue for developing smart membrane technologies and could revolutionise the field of artificial biological systems, tissue engineering and filtration.
Graphene is capable of forming a tuneable filter or even a perfect barrier when dealing with liquids and gases. New ‘smart’ membranes developed using an inexpensive form of graphene called graphene oxide, have been demonstrated to allow precise control of water flow by using an electrical current. The membranes can even be used to completely block water from passing through when required.
The team, led by Professor Rahul Nair, embedded conductive filaments within the electrically insulating graphene oxide membrane. An electric current passed through these nano-filaments created a large electric field which ionises the water molecules and thus controls the water transport through the graphene capillaries in the membrane.
Prof Nair said: “This new research allows us to precisely control water permeation, from ultrafast permeation to complete blocking. Our work opens up an avenue for further developing smart membrane technologies.
“Developing smart membranes that allow precise and reversible control of molecular permeation using external stimuli would be of intense interest for many areas of science; from physics and chemistry, to life-sciences.
The achievement of electrical control of water flow through membranes is a step change because of its similarity to several biological process where the main stimuli are electrical signals. Controlled water transport is a key for renal water conservation, regulation of body temperature and digestion. The reported electrical control of water transport through graphene membranes therefore opens a new dimension in developing artificial biological systems and advanced nanofluidic devices for various applications.
Previously, the research group have demonstrated that graphene oxide membranes can be used as a sieve to remove salt from seawater for desalination alternatives. Last year they also showed that the membranes could remove the colour pigment from whisky without affecting its other properties.
For the ground breaking research in graphene-based membranes, Professor Andre Geim and Professor Rahul Nair have won 8th Award of the Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz International Prize for Water (PSIPW)
Scientists have long been trying to control water flow through membrane by using an external stimuli due to its importance for healthcare and related areas. Currently, such adjustable membranes are limited to the modulation of wetting of the membranes and controlled ion transport, but not the controlled mass flow of water.
Dr. Kai-Ge Zhou, lead author for the research paper said, “The reported graphene smart membrane technology is not just limited to controlling the water flow. The same membrane can be used as a smart adsorbent or sponge. Water adsorbed on the membrane can be preserved in the membrane even in desert conditions if a current is applied. We could release this water on demand by switching the current off.”
Dr. Vasu, second lead author commented, “Our work not only opens new applications for graphene membranes but it allows us to understand the effect of electrical field on the nanoscale properties of confined water. Despite many conflicting theoretical predictions ranging from freezing of water molecules to melting of ice under an electric field, the experimental evidence for electric field effects were missing. Our work shows that large electric field can ionise water in to its constituent ions.”
The work was done in collaboration with scientists from the University of York, Shahid Rajaee Teacher Training University, Iran, and the University of Antwerpen, Belgium.
Graphene and related two-dimensional materials have shown promise for developing new applications as well as enhancing currently used processes for areas as diverse as; electronics, composites, sensors and biomedical. Membranes have become as key research and development theme for desalination, gas separation and healthcare.
The Premier Forum for Water Leakage and Smart Water Technologies
Welcome to the Smart Water Utilities USA 2021 Exhibition and Conference where global water utilities and network services will meet with water leakage experts and smart water technology providers in California to explore efficient and cost-effective solutions for the water utilities industry.
Water is one of the most valuable resources across the globe and as rapid urbanisation has led to the rise in water demand, pressures across the water network caused by climate change and an ageing infrastructure have significantly impacted the availability of water. Non-revenue water (NRW) is water that is lost before it reaches end users, with water leakage being a key contributor of global water loss, currently valued at $40 billion per year, which is now driving the demand for smart technology solutions.
The face of water supply networks is fast changing as operators navigate through the ‘digital water age’ and introduce new technologies across their water networks with advances in IoT and AI for network automation and control to efficiently manage and reduce water leakage. As operators work to meet new regulations and leakage targets, new initiatives towards more efficient water networks have become essential in order to satisfy an ever-increasing demand for water.
With new developments in smart water technologies and technical know-how, recent advancements in leak detection offer new hope for water companies looking for operational efficiencies under challenging market conditions, and to better manage their water networks. The Smart Water Utilities USA 2021 event is set to become the region’s leading exhibition and conference exclusively for water companies and smart water technology experts, to present new solutions for water leakage and how to develop smarter systems across their water networks.
The key focus for this year’s conference will be to “efficiently manage and reduce water leakage”, and the objective will be to bring water utilities and network services together with leading industry experts to collaborate and examine new opportunities in smart water technologies, and to address the key challenges in water utilities from a global perspective.
Key topics on this year’s agenda include:
- Making an economic assessment for water utilities development
- Integrating smart water technologies into existing water infrastructure
- Strategies for managing and reducing water leakage across the network
- Looking at real-time data and cutting-edge communication technologies
- New technologies and know-how in IoT and AI for network automation
- End-user case studies and how to develop an optimal network
This exhibition and conference will provide a forum for all stakeholders from water utilities and network service providers to leading water leakage experts and smart technology companies, to network and build cross-market relationships, and to discuss the latest results in smart water networks for the benefit of the water utilities industry.
Milestone contract for graphene technology in water treatment
- UK technology business awarded first commercial business contract for industrial wastewater treatment
- Graphene technology slashes energy costs and reduces fouling for water treatment
- Initial applications in commercial laundry, produced water, food, beverages and dairy industries
G2O is a fast-growing technology business with a portfolio of products that reduce the cost and environmental impact of water treatment. Our products harness the transformational potential of 2D materials, such as Graphene Oxide.
UK technology business G2O Water Technologies has landed its first commercial contract for the enhancement of water filtration membranes with graphene oxide. This is particularly significant for both the technology company as well as the water sector globally, as it is the first commercially successful application of the recently developed “wonder” material for water treatment.
The advantages of using graphene oxide lie in the enhancement of membrane performance, as it mitigates the effects of fouling – one of the biggest challenges operators of membrane-based water filtration systems face. With a coating of graphene oxide, successfully developed and piloted by the company in the northwest of England in collaboration with Hydrasyst Limited, operators can improve operational efficiency, reduce energy consumption and decrease chemical usage. It is anticipated that this will extend the lifetime of the membranes, as well as significantly reducing the cost and environmental impact of water treatment.
Hydrasyst, the earliest adopter of the technology, is a British turnkey solution provider of advanced membrane technology systems, particularly in industrial processes. Commenting on its work with G2O, Managing Director Kyle Wolff stated, “We’re thrilled to have been closely involved for some time now with the piloting and application of G2O Water Technology’s graphene oxide coatings. They have ultimately succeeded in proving their value for some of the most difficult water treatment challenges our customers face; for example in the industrial laundry sector. With the graphene oxide coating, our ceramic hollow-fibre membrane systems deliver significant operational advantages, enabling end-users to enhance the efficiency of their water usage, whilst delivering significant savings in energy costs .”
“This is a significant milestone for the company and the whole water sector. It’s the first commercially successful application of graphene oxide for water treatment”, said Chris Wyres, CEO of G2O Technologies. “The results of industrial trials with Hydrasyst validate the real-world advantages the solution delivers. We will be working closely with Hydrasyst to roll-out Nanopulse systems for a range of water treatment applications. We envisage that wide-scale deployment of this transformational solution can contribute to addressing the challenges of water scarcity and climate change.”
Membrane Technology Business Accelerating Growth Plans
July 27, 2021 –wateronline.com/
- UK technology business completes equity funding boost
- Investors back G2O to accelerate growth
- Significant potential demonstrated in industrial, oil and gas, food & beverage and energy sectors
UK technology business G2O Water Technologies recently completed an equity funding round, with existing and new investors backing the business to accelerate growth.
G2O’s innovative graphene oxide coating products that reduce the cost and environmental impact of water treatment, have developed significant market traction, with a rapidly growing pipeline of opportunities across a broad range of sectors including industrial, oil & gas, food & beverage and domestic water filtration.
Chris Wyres, CEO of G2O stated “Strong market traction for our Graphene oxide coating products has enabled us to secure additional capital from investors to accelerate growth and delivery of the strong pipeline of opportunities we have generated. As part of this strategy, we will be expanding our facilities and team, ramping up marketing and business development and commercialising an exciting range of new products.”
The company will be focusing on converting a rapidly growing pipeline of opportunities, gearing the business to support partners and expedite progression through prototyping and industrial testing. G2O are currently applying their innovative technology to solve critical challenges in a broad range of water treatment processes, including desalination and the oil and gas, food and beverage and energy sectors. In each case, the proven solutions deliver enhanced operational efficiency, reducing energy costs, maintenance and chemical usage, as well as extending the lifetime of the membranes. This enables end-users to not only reduce costs, but also to minimise their environmental impact and contribute to addressing climate change.
“We’re delighted that all our current investors have recognised the excellent progress made by the company in the last 12 months and have continued to support us. It is also a pleasure to welcome our new industrial investors to G2O, which is a tremendous vote of confidence in the future of the company. The timing of this investment comes as the company has just achieved a key milestone with the signing of its first commercial licensing agreement and I look forward to an exciting future as we progress through to full scale commercialisation of the technology with our development partners.” commented Andrew Greenaway, Chairman of G2O
Smart water-based ferrofluid with stable state transition property: Preparation and its application in anionic dye removal
This article reports a smart water-based ferrofluid that can transform from stable state to unstable state for separating the contained magnetic nanoparticles after use.
The ferrofluid is synthesized by preparing polyethylenimine modified Fe3O4 nanoparticles via a one-pot method, and then improved by acidification treatment and ultracentrifugation-based washing. The resultant ferrofluid and intermediate products have been systematically characterized, verifying that the ferrofluid possesses superparamagnetism, high saturation magnetization as well as strong colloidal stability, and the magnetic nanoparticles contained in the ferrofluid have small aggregation size, strong electropositivity and high saturation magnetization.
It has been confirmed that the acidification treatment and ultracentrifugation-based washing greatly activate the positive charge and reduce the aggregation size of polyethylenimine modified Fe3O4 nanoparticles, which is the key to our successful synthesis of this new type of ferrofluid. Furthermore, the adsorption behavior of the ferrofluid on the anionic Ponceau S dye has been systematically investigated, demonstrating that the ferrofluid can adsorb anionic Ponceau S dye in a short time (<5 min) with a maximum adsorption capacity of 140.26 mg/g.
The experimental data show that the adsorption kinetics follows the pseudo-second-order mode and the Langmuir isotherm model is applicable to describe the adsorption processes.
Importantly, the magnetic nanoparticles in the ferrofluid can be easy to separate from solution after adsorbing anionic Ponceau S dye, preventing secondary pollution and showing great potential in wastewater treatment.
GRAPHIL: The Future of Innovative Portable Household Water Filters
GRAPHIL, the new Spearhead project, brings together Icon Lifesaver (UK), Medica SpA (Italy) and Polymem S.A (France) along with other academic partners, Chalmers Institute of Technology (Sweden), Manchester University (UK), and the National Research Council (Italy). The consortium is committed to the production of innovative filters for household water treatment.
According to WHO and UNICEF, 2.2 billion people lacked access to safe drinking water in 2019 (United Nations, n.d.). Each year, approximately 88% of the four billion worldwide annual cases of diarrhea have been attributed to a lack of safe drinking water (Schroth, Lanfair, & Ambulkar, n.d.).
The Graphil project responds to the urgency of producing an easy to use microfiltration membrane that can be connected directly onto a household sink or used as a portable device for water purification. The filter is expected to go into the market in 2023 and can remove contaminants, pesticides, heavy metals, and dangerous pathogens from drinking water (Graphene Flagship, 2019).
The undesired chemical compounds, organic and inorganic materials, and biological contaminants, such as suspended particles, parasites, bacteria, algae, viruses, and fungi are removed from water through multiple physical, chemical, or biological processes (Schroth, Lanfair, & Ambulkar, n.d.).
In the United States, the safety of drinking water quality is regulated by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), whereas the European Union is regulated by Article 10 of the EU Drinking Water Directive (Directive 98/83/EC) (European Drinking Water, n.d.). On 18 February 2020, the environment and public health committee updated the EU rules of drinking tap water, which is expected to update quality standards and sets out minimum hygiene requirements for materials in contact with drinking water (European Parliament, 2020).
In Europe, most countries use chlorine as a drinking water disinfectant since the discovery of water disinfectant abilities in 1905 by the London Metropolitan Water Board. The U.S quickly followed the use of Chlorine, reaching 64% of all community water systems by 1995 (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2015). According to the WHO, the standard drinking water state is 2-3 mg/L chlorine to achieve satisfactory drinking water (Lenntech, n.d.).
Portable Water Filtration
The filter membrane performance depends on the amount of water passing through the membrane per unit of time and surface area, and the concentration ratio of a component between the filtered particles and the feed water solution.
Following the discovery of Graphair (Smith, 2020), a conventional one-step water filtration system by a team of scientists from Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), graphene has successfully entered as a competitive next-generation solution for the portable water purification process. Graphair is a 4 cm2 graphene film filtration membrane with microscopic nano-channels that prevents larger contaminants such as salt enter the water (Bold Business, 2018). The filter was proved to be low-cost, removing 99% of impurities faster than other conventional filters without using chlorine.
Graphene as a Water Filter Membrane
Graphene’s large surface area, versatile surface chemistry, and exceptional mechanical properties allow it to bind ions and metals. This process reduces the number of inorganic contaminants in water. The graphene-based membrane also offers a simpler setup compared to other traditional membranes, such as reverse osmosis and microfiltration train systems, leading to lower operating pressure and maintenance costs for end-users.
Last year, the researchers from Russia’s National University of Science and Technology (MISiS), Derzhavin Tambov State University, and Saratov Chernyshevsky State University experimented with graphene oxide to purify water by injecting graphene oxide into E. coli containing saline solutions. The results demonstrated the bacterias forming flakes inside the solution along with the graphene oxide, which can be easily extracted, making water free of bacteria (Smart Water Magazine, 2019).
HOW NEW MATERIAL GRAPHENE CAN MAKE SMART HOMES SMARTER
Originally published in inman.com.
We are in an era where sustainability, energy savings, solar options, innovations, engineering and smart home tech knowledge are all extremely important to consumers, business leaders and employees trying to make a difference in the world. In 2018 alone, the U.S. spent $19.8 billion on smart home technology. I predict a new material called graphene will revolutionize the smart home industry and become a key factor in smart home technology advancements and innovations.
Although there have been attempts to study graphene since the mid-1800s, it wasn’t until 2004 when scientists discovered and isolated a single atomic layer of carbon for the first time. Since then, research has skyrocketed, and graphene is now considered to be the strongest substance known to science and might be one of the world’s most useful “wonder” materials.
Graphene forms a nearly transparent, flexible sheet about one atom thick (which, to put in perspective, is one million times smaller than the diameter of a single human hair). It is 200 times stronger than steel yet six times lighter. It is a conductor of electrical and thermal energy, and it is eco-friendly and sustainable, with unlimited possibilities to create the perfect smart home (and more).
Concrete is the most common building material, along with steel, but greenhouse gas emissions from concrete and cement-making remain high. Cement-making accounts for 6 percent of global carbon emissions.
Use of graphene, when incorporated into concrete and cement, makes for a stronger, more water-resistant composite material that could reduce emissions. This material can be used directly on building sites, enabling the construction of strong and durable buildings using less concrete and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. This process reduces roughly half the amount of materials used to make concrete, all at a lower cost.
Imagine being able to paint your house with a special coating that changes color when it senses that the underlying structure is in need of repairs. Researchers have created a smart graphene coating that indicates breaks and fractures by changing color. This could revolutionize the home inspection process.
Graphene also has been used to make eco-friendly paint. Because graphene is a superconductor, the addition of graphene to paint can improve the thermal regulation of buildings, requiring less heating and air conditioning. Graphene’s inclusion in paints, coatings and other building materials greatly enhances strength, durability and coverage.
Solar panels on a home are a great source of energy. Graphene can be made into transparent solar cells that can turn virtually any surface into a source of electric power. This technology could give homeowners the opportunity to turn something like a garage door, window or roof into a solar conductor, all while maintaining the desired look of the home.
Glowing walls could soon replace the light bulb, allowing for the introduction of glowing “wallpaper.” This would provide a more pleasant, adjustable light across a room compared to lightbulbs, and it can also be made more energy-efficient.
It’s also a highly efficient conductor of both heat and electricity and conducts electricity better than copper.
To produce sound, regular speakers create a pressure wave in the air by physically moving back and forth. Graphene can create a non-moving solid-state audio device that would eliminate the need for a large sound system and speakers.
Researchers believe they can incorporate speakers into ultra-thin touch screen technologies, in which the screen is able to produce sound on its own and could probably be incorporated onto walls.
Graphene can make batteries that are light, durable and suitable for high capacity energy storage, as well as shorten charging times. It will extend the battery’s lifetime and will add conductivity without requiring the amounts of carbon that are used in conventional batteries. Graphene can also be used to create new batteries that recharge quickly.
Water conservation is a high priority in our country. It is expected that by 2020, 25 million people (in seven states), including Arizona and Nevada, will be forced to cut back on water usage as Lake Mead and Lake Powell essentially run dry. Graphene membranes can be used as water filters, filtering 85 percent of salt out of seawater.
Although this percentage is not quite pure enough for drinking purposes, it is perfect for agricultural and landscaping use. This can help regions affected by the drought, that are located near large bodies of water and maintain modern, low-water landscaping using a better eco-friendy solution.
Combining all of graphene’s amazing properties could create a holistic impact on the world of smarter homes, and its participation as a change agent is not far away.
Household Water Filtering
The Water Resource Group notifies that the worldwide water supply-to-demand gap is likely to reach approximately 40% by 2030, which warns the issue of water scarcity to be a worldwide priority.
Although already-existing water filtration methods shown in the following table have controlled the market (European Commision, 2010), they are expensive, complicated or highly inaccurate, which prevents most parts of the world from getting access to clean drinking water. (Shull, 2012):
|Filtration Method||Particle Capture Size||Contaminants Removed|
|Microfiltration||0.1-10 µm||suspended solids, bacteria, protozoa|
|Ultrafiltration||ca.0.003-0.1 µm||colloids, proteins, polysaccharides, most bacteria, viruses (partially)|
|Nanofiltration||ca.0.001 µm||viruses, natural organic matter, multivalent ions|
|Reverse Osmosis||ca.0.0001 µm||almost all impurities, including monovalent ions|
The Graphil project has helped to develop affordable and easy to use portable or household water filters. According to Mrs. Letizia Bocchi, who is the leader of the project, their filters are made with hollow plastic fiber membranes blended with graphene to enhance the adsorption of chemical contaminants (Diamante, 2020). Once completed, the Graphil filters could be directly mounted on a household water filtration system or portable water purifier devices, which also means a reduction in bottled water consumption, contributing to positive environmental impacts.
References and Further Reading
Bold Business. (2018). Graphair Water Filter — A Graphene Film Making Polluted Water Drinkable. [Online] Bold Business: https://www.boldbusiness.com/health/graphair-water-filter-polluted-drinkable/ (Accessed on 04 October, 2020)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2015). Disinfection with Chlorine. [Online] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: https://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/drinking/public/chlorine-disinfection.html (Accessed on 04 October, 2020)
Diamante, L. (2020). Spotlight: Exploring Graphil’s graphene-based water filters with Letizia Bocchi. [Online] Graphene Flagship: https://graphene-flagship.eu/news/Pages/Spotlight-Exploring-Graphil%E2%80%99s-graphene-based-water-filters-with-Letizia-Bocchi.aspx (Accessed on 04 October, 2020)
European Commision. (2010). Membrane technologies for water applications. Brussels. doi:10.2777/25163
European Drinking Water. (n.d.). Background. [Online] from European Drinking Water: https://www.europeandrinkingwater.eu/initiative/background/ (Accessed on 04 October, 2020)
European Parliament. (2020). Drinking water in the EU: better quality and access. [Online] News European Parliament: https://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/headlines/society/20181011STO15887/drinking-water-in-the-eu-better-quality-and-access (Accessed on 04 October, 2020)
Graphene Flagship. (2019). Purifying Europe’s Water with Graphene Filtration. [Online] Graphene Flagship: https://graphene-flagship.eu/project/spearhead/Pages/GRAPHIL.aspx (Accessed on 04 October, 2020)
Lenntech. (n.d.). Water Treatment. [Online] Lenntech: https://www.lenntech.com/processes/disinfection/chemical/disinfectants-chlorine.htm (Accessed on 04 October, 2020)
Schroth, S. T., Lanfair, J. K., & Ambulkar, A. (n.d.). Water Purification. [Online] Britannica: https://www.britannica.com/topic/water-purification/Other-purification-steps (Accessed on 04 October, 2020)
Shull, A. (2012). The Design and Creation of a Portable Water Purification System. [Online] Andrews University: https://digitalcommons.andrews.edu/honors/39 (Accessed on 04 October, 2020)
Smart Water Magazine. (2019). How to purify water with graphene? [Online] Smart Water Magazine: https://smartwatermagazine.com/news/national-university-science-and-technology-nust-misis/how-purify-water-graphene (Accessed on 04 October, 2020)
Smith, B. (2020). Graph Air: Revolutionary Water Filtration Using Graphene. [Online] AZoM: https://www.azom.com/article.aspx?ArticleID=19275 (Accessed on 04 October, 2020)