“Aqua materials” that contain water as their major component and are as robust as conventional plastics are highly desirable. Yet, the ability of such systems to withstand harsh conditions, for example, high pressures typical of industrial applications has not been demonstrated. We show that a hydrogel-like membrane self-assembled from an aromatic amphiphile and colloidal Nafion is capable of purifying water from organic molecules, including pharmaceuticals, and heavy metals in a very wide range of concentrations. Remarkably, the membrane can sustain high pressures, retaining its function. The robustness and functionality of the water-based self-assembled array advances the idea that aqua materials can be very strong and suitable for demanding industrial applications.
Cohen, E., Weissman, H., Shimoni, E., Kaplan-Ashiri, I., Werle, K., Wohlleben, W., & Rybtchinski, B. (2017). Robust Aqua Material: A Pressure-Resistant Self-Assembled Membrane for Water Purification. Angewandte Chemie - International Edition, 56(8), 2203–2207. https://doi.org/10.1002/anie.201610288