Outlook for graphene-based desalination membranes

Albert Boretti*, Sarim Al-Zubaidy, Miroslava Vaclavikova, Mohammed Al-Abri, Stefania Castelletto, Sergey Mikhalovsky

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

138 Citations (Scopus)


We discuss here next-generation membranes based on graphene for water desalination, based on the results of molecular simulations, application of nanofabrication technologies, and experiments. The potential of graphene to serve as a key material for advanced membranes comes from two major possible advantages of this atomically thin two-dimensional material: permeability and selectivity. Graphene-based membranes are also hypothetically attractive based on concentration polarization and fouling, and graphene’s chemical and physical stability. Further research is needed to fully achieve these theoretical benefits, however. In addition, improvement in the design and manufacturing processes, so to produce performance and cost-effective graphene-based desalination devices, is still an open question. Finally, membranes are only one part of desalination systems, and current processes are not optimized to take full advantage of the higher selectivity and permeability of graphene. New desalination processes are, therefore, needed to unlock the full benefits of graphene.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5
Journalnpj Clean Water
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

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