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Graphene for water deslination


D.A. Pacheco Tanaka, Y. Belaustegui, A. García


  Tecnalia Research and Innovation, Energy and Environmental Division, Mikeletegi 2, Donostia-San Sebastián, 20009, Spain


Graphene is considered by many as the material of the future, due to its exceptional properties and applications. The European Commission launched in 2013 the "Graphene Flagship", with a budget of one billion euros for 10 years, to facilitate the transition of graphene and related materials from academic laboratories to their application. Grafene is composed of carbon atoms with sp2 hybridization with planar structure in the form of honeycomb (Fig 1a); conferring high a) thermal and electrical conductivity, b) elasticity and c) hardness. Graphene with an atom of thickness is manufactured by CVD (Chemical Vapor Deposition), this is an expensive and difficult method for large scale fabrication. Another way to prepare graphene is by oxidation and exfoliation of graphite forming graphene oxide (GO). GO can be solubilized in several solvents, facilitating the formation of films and the manufacture of graphene-containing materials, such as photocatalysts with Titania1 (Fig b), graphene composite materials such as polymers with gas-tight properties2, conductive polymers, catalysts, solar cells3, batteries, supercapacitors, catalysts, etc. Under special conditions, it is possible to prepare GO with three-dimensional structure (monoliths) containing pores of different sizes useful for the manufacture of GO electrodes for the desalination of water by capacitive deionization (CDI)3. This presentation will be focused in the uses of graphene specially for CDI.


Figura 1: a) Honeycomb structure of grafene, b) Graphene decorated with nanoparticles of TiO2, c) 3D GO for water desalination.


Acknowledgments: The work has received founding from the European Union Seventh Framework Programme under grant agreement n°604391 Graphene Flagship and H2020 under grant agreement nº 785219 GRAPHENECORE2.


Key words: Graphene; Graphene oxide, desalination, Capacitive deionization.



  1. Pacheco Tanaka D.A., Mendes A., 2010. Composite Graphene-metal oxide platelet and its method of preparation and applications, WO 2011/132036 A1

  2. Pinto A., Cabral J., Pacheco Tanaka D.A., Mendes A., Magalhaes F., 2012. Effect of incorporation of graphene oxide and graphene nanoplatelets on mechanical and gas permeability properties of poly(lactic acid), Polym Int  62,33–40.

  3. Mendes A., Cruz R., Pacheco Tanaka D.A., 2011. Catalytic and transparent electrode of graphene, preparation method and applications thereof, PT 105612 (A).

  4. Belaustegui Y., Zorita S., Fernandez F., Garcia A., Pacheco Tanaka D.A. 2017. Capacitive dionization electrode, EP 17382438.4

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Prof. David Alfredo

Pacheco Tanaka



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