Nano Bugle

A window into applied science supported by INL

Carbon Nanotube Membranes for Water Purification

Image obtained from

Image obtained from

A spin-off from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), called Porifera, uses carbon nanotubes to develop membranes for water purification.

The nanotubes are arranged so that they are closely packed together in order that water flows through them as if traversing a pile of straws. The opening of the nanotubes is only a few nanometers, so that water molecules can pass through them, while bacteria, biological material and other impurities can not. Thus, the water obtained after passing through the nanotube is clean of impurities.

While traditional membranes in dirt are stored within the membrane, in these membranes such impurities are kept out of the nanotubes, facilitating cleaning.

Another possible application of such filters would be water desalination.


September 9, 2009 - Posted by | Nanofood | , ,

1 Comment »

  1. I’m in favor of deep water desalination which uses water pressure to force fresh water through membranes. However, Profiera looks like it might come up with a membrane that desalinates in shallow water. No need for high pressure.

    Comment by Charles | September 21, 2009 | Reply

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