Supported Graphene Oxide (GO) Membranes for Cleaner Water – Characterization, Performance, and Advantages

Curtis Mowry, Laura Biedermann, Michael Hibbs, Victor Pinon, Adam Pimentel, Craig Stewart, Kevin Zavadil

Sandia National Laboratories

The concept of “clean water” is an ideal anyone can appreciate. But what does it cost? “Clean” is subjective in many ways depending on the purpose, quantity, and water source. In any example, cleanup requires energy, and energy is money and resources. Early work with polymer-supported Graphene oxide (GO) membranes suggested the potential for low-energy filtration. The work summarized here covers the progress achieved at Sandia and the advantages GO membranes have over traditional methods. Sandia has improved GO membrane robustness, flux, and contaminant rejection; while also reducing costs and environmental impact of manufacture. The goal of large-scale manufacturing is closer than ever. Performance metrics and characterization methods are discussed in relation to example application spaces such as desalination, waste water, produced water (used in hydrolic fracturing), and emerging drinking water contaminants.

Sandia National Laboratories is a multimission laboratory managed and operated by National Technology & Engineering Solutions of Sandia, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Honeywell International, Inc., for the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration under contract DE-NA0003525.