Graphene membranes can make nuclear industry greener
Graphene could help reduce the energy cost of producing heavy water and decontamination in nuclear power plants by over one hundred times compared with current technologies, University of Manchester research indicates.
The new development could lead to the reduction of CO2 emissions associated with heavy water production by up to a million tonnes each year.
Writing in Nature Communications, a team from the University of Manchester led by Dr. Marcelo Lozada-Hidalgo demonstrated fully scalable prototypes of graphene membranes capable of producing heavy water.
The research shows that graphene-based membranes could make the production of heavy water more efficient, leading to greener and cheaper nuclear power.
Producing heavy water which needed by the nuclear industry to generate clean-energy is an expensive process. Because of graphene’s unique material properties it has the potential to effectively separate sub-atomic particles making this process more efficient and cost-effective.