Although there are some new alternatives, the two most commonly used filters are activated carbon and silica gel. However, these materials can not be reused, they can only be discarded after use. Now, however, a new type of carbon nanotubes can solve this problem, and it can be more efficient in removing organic pollutants.
A team led by John-David Rocha and Reginald Rogers, two scientists at Rochester Institute of Technology, has recently developed a high-quality single-walled carbon nanotube, a tiny sheet of graphene curled. It is known that it can connect carbon atoms in a honeycomb structure, and its thickness is only as thin as one atom. These nanotubes are then sorted according to whether they are semiconductor or metal. Semiconductor tubes will be orderly incorporated into carbon-like sheets for filtering contaminated water. Because carbon nanotubes are drainable, no water molecules will remain on the material, only those organic pollutants will stick to it. Once the thin sheets appear, they can be put back into use in microwave rate for only 5 minutes. In the microwave process, pollutants can be evaporated. It is reported that the relevant research report has been published in Environmental Science Water: Research and Technology.