Student Seminar

Membraneless water filtration using CO2

Friday, 20 October 2017 12:00PM PDT
Student Seminar
Timothy Richards
SFU Physics
Membraneless water filtration using CO2
Oct 20, 2017 at 12PM


In 2015, UNICEF estimated that 663 million people worldwide still lacked access to improved or protected water sources, and published a report showing that despite significant improvements between 1990-2015, a lot of work remains to be done [1]. Significant drawbacks to conventional purification techniques that use a porous membrane, such as microfiltration and reverse osmosis, motivate the development of a membraneless alternative [2]. In this work, Shin et al propose and demonstrate a proof-of-principle microfluidic device that uses the dissolution of CO2 into water to create ion concentration gradients that can be used to separate particles via diffusiophoresis [2]. Their work demonstrates a potential water purification technology which is scalable and avoids the drawbacks of conventional alternatives [2].


[1] UNICEF. Progress on Sanitation And Drinking Water: 2015 Update and MDG Assessment (World Health Organization, 2015).
[2] Shin, S. et al. Membraneless water filtration using CO2. Nat. Commun. 8, 15181 doi:10.1038/ncomms15181 (2017).