Water desalination using graphene oxide-embedded paper microfluidics

  • Ebenezer Olubunmi Ige
  • Ravi Kumar Arun
  • Preeti Singh
  • Manash Gope
  • Rajnarayan Saha
  • Nripen ChandaEmail author
  • Suman ChakrabortyEmail author
Research Paper


The need for the removal of salt constituents is very critical in several downstream processes of biological materials and saltwater purification. Substantial efforts to drive low cost-effective techniques for desalination are ongoing, and it is hopeful that novel nanomaterials could provide useful insight to a new paradigm in salt capturing both in biogenic fluids and complex solutions like seawater. In this report, we demonstrate a microfluidic proof-of-concept for a desalination system, in which graphene oxide deposited on the paper substrate was used to remove salt-ion concentration. Our investigation suggests that the optimal modification of paper with the five-time deposition of graphene oxide (paper@5GO) shows the best salt removal performance with the salt-rejection efficiency of ~ 97.0%. The salt rejection occurs by the phenomenon of surface adsorption on the GO-modified paper membrane which is confirmed by the detailed analytical studies of pre- and post-treatment. The system presented does not require additional energy input in the process and thus would become cost-effective and scalable with high salt removal efficiency which may be useful in bioanalysis and saltwater purification for sustainable development.

Graphical abstract

We demonstrate a microfluidic proof-of-concept for a desalination system, in which graphene oxide deposited on the paper substrate is used for the salt-rejection purpose that may be useful in bioanalysis and saltwater purification for sustainable development.


Paper microfluidic Graphene oxide Saltwater Desalination 



The authors acknowledge the World Academy of Sciences, Trieste Italy and Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), New Delhi India for the financial support.

Supplementary material

10404_2019_2247_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (515 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 515 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ebenezer Olubunmi Ige
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ravi Kumar Arun
    • 1
  • Preeti Singh
    • 1
    • 5
  • Manash Gope
    • 3
  • Rajnarayan Saha
    • 3
  • Nripen Chanda
    • 1
    • 5
    Email author
  • Suman Chakraborty
    • 4
    Email author
  1. 1.Material Processing and Microsystems LaboratoryCSIR-Central Mechanical Engineering Research InstituteDurgapurIndia
  2. 2.Department of Mechanical and Mechatronic EngineeringAfe Babalola UniversityAdo-EkitiNigeria
  3. 3.Department of ChemistryNational Institute of Technology, DurgapurDurgapurIndia
  4. 4.Department of Mechanical EngineeringIndian Institute of Technology KharagpurKharagpurIndia
  5. 5.CSIR-Human Resource Development Centre, (CSIR-HRDC) CampusAcademy of Scientific and Innovative Research (AcSIR)GhaziabadIndia

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