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A group of researchers in the UK has designed a graphene-based sieve capable of removing salt from seawater.

The development could assist in the supply of clean drinking water to millions of people.

The results were released in the journal Nature Nanotechonology.

Dr Rahul Nair who has led the project, explains how the sieve uses a graphene oxide membrane to filter out the salt, with holes in the sieve less than one nanometre in size (0.000001mm).

We have a membrane which you can see and touch, we have made clean water from the saltwater, so this is a reality. The next step is how to do a mass scale production of this membrane.

Dr Rahul Nair, Scientist and research fellow at the University of Manchester

We haven't tested the real sea water, so we artificially created salt water and so the next step would be testing the sea water.

Dr Rahul Nair, Scientist and research fellow at the University of Manchester

We hope to do many tests to analyse the performance of this membrane in coming years, looking for our industrial collaborative to help us in engineering this material to a larger scale.

Dr Rahul Nair, Scientist and research fellow at the University of Manchester

Take a listen to Dr Rahul Nair explain this new discovery:

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