The results of the study, which involved Swinburne\ University of Technology, Australia, and The Netherlands-based Delft University of Technology, are useful in the design of novel reverse osmosis (RO) systems that utilise carbon nanotubes-based membranes.
The research team took inspiration from nature, specifically biological systems for making efficient desalination membranes. The study was a sponsored project granted to IIT by the Department of Science and Technology as part of the Water Technology Initiative (WTI).
As per a report of NITI Aayog, 40 per cent of the Indian population will not have access to drinking water by 2030, and 21 major Indian cities, including Chennai, are at risk of running out of groundwater, which will impact 100 million people. Prof Sarith P Sathian, Department of Applied Mechanics, IIT Madras, said, “Since the desalination process requires energy, which requires large amounts of fresh water, a cyclic dependency ensues between freshwater availability and energy availability, known as the water-energy nexus.”