Research Highlight

Desalinating filter

doi:10.1038/nindia.2010.20 Published online 23 February 2010

Researchers have designed a multiwalled nanoparticles-based filter that could be a handy tool in desalinating seawater as also removing arsenic from it.

The multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWNTs) nanocomposite-based supercapacitor studded with nanoparticles will be useful in making a portable water filter.

The large surface area of CNTs can adsorb harmful metallic ions present in some natural sources of water. To tap its potential, the researchers first produced MWNTs. Then they added organic functional groups to MWNTs and decorated them with ferric oxide nanoparticles. This nanocomposite was smeared on a carbon fabric giving rise to a supercapacitor, whose electrochemical activity was tested using sodium arsenate, sodium arsenite in deionised water and seawater.

"Combined removal of sodium, magnesium and calcium from sea water suggests the efficiency of this technology for removal of multiple metal impurities," says lead researcher Sundara Ramaprabhu from the Department of Physics, Indian Institute of Technology Madras, Chennai.

The filter can also be used for arsenic removal from drinking water in Bangladesh and West Bengal, he says.


  1. Mishra, K. A. et al. Magnetite Decorated Multiwalled Carbon Nanotube Based Supercapacitor for Arsenic Removal and Desalination of Seawater. J. Phys. Chem. C. 114, 2583-2590 (2010) | Article |