Nanoporous atomically thin membranes for solvent waste recycling
A versatile membrane for separating solvents
Many industries produce water-organic solvent mixtures that can be recycled but must be separated before reuse. Separation processes are costly and energy intensive, accounting for 15% of the world’s energy consumption, mostly through distillation and evaporation. The use of membranes in separation has the potential to reduce that consumption by 90%, saving 100 million tons in carbon emissions and $4 billion a year. However, existing membrane technology is limited in its chemical compatibility, versatility, and ability to separate liquids at the molecular level. This team is developing a nanoporous, atomically thin membrane for separating the most commonly used industrial solvents and overcome these challenges.