LifeSaver®, a UK-based manufacturer of portable and reusable water filtration systems, announces an exclusive contract with the National Graphene Institute (NGI) at The University of Manchester.
The 18-month research project will focus on developing graphene technology that can be used for enhanced water filtration, with the goal of creating a patented, cutting-edge product capable of eliminating an even wider range of hazardous contaminants than currently removed by LifeSaver’s existing high-performance ultra-filtration process.
Graphene has emerged as something of a wonder material in recent years. It is an ultra-thin single layer of graphite, the material used in pencil lead. Considered the first two-dimensional material ever discovered, it is also one of the strongest known natural materials in the world, while retaining high levels of flexibility, conductivity and filtration. By incorporating graphene into its existing market-leading water purification technology, LifeSaver hopes to reduce the sieve size of its hollow fibre filtration membrane from the current 15 nanometres (which removes bacteria, microbial cysts and viruses) to about 1-3 nanometres. At that size, LifeSaver products could remove a much wider range of contaminants, such as heavy metals, pesticides, certain chemicals and potentially even nuclear radiation from drinking water supplies.
“The partnership with NGI excites all of us at LifeSaver as it provides a potential game changing opportunity in our patented technology platform,” says Chris Marsden, Chairman at LifeSaver.
“This in turn allows us to continue to provide leading edge technological solutions to our key global humanitarian, military and retail markets.”
When LifeSaver approached the NGI in 2017, they were seen by NGI as a strong Subject Matter Expert with which to partner in order to develop and apply potential graphene applications in water filtration. The team at NGI, which is the UK’s national centre for graphene and two-dimensional materials research, seized the opportunity, and a promising partnership was born.
“Making a graphene-based portable water filter was our dream, and this collaboration with LifeSaver will enable that dream to be a reality sooner than later,” says Professor Rahul Nair, who will lead the project at The University of Manchester.
“The University of Manchester is the world leading centre for graphene membrane development, and LifeSaver has the expertise in making a portable water filter. This is a great example of a collaborative project where we are trying to combine two independently developed technologies into one, to enhance the quality and availability of drinking water for those who need it most.”