Graphene could help reduce the energy cost of producing heavy water and decontamination in nuclear power plants by over one hundred times compared with current technologies, University of Manchester research indicates.
Prof Peter Budd
Professor of Polymer Chemistry
Development of graphene-based membranes for a variety of applications.
Peter Budd obtained his first degree (chemistry, 1978) and PhD (1981) from the University of Manchester. He spent eight years as a research chemist at the BP Research Centre in Sunbury-on-Thames, working on polymers and other materials, returning to Manchester in 1989 as a lecturer. He is now Professor of Polymer Chemistry and his research group is developing materials for a range of industrial and medical applications.
He is co-inventor of a range of polymers - called Polymers of Intrinsic Microporosity (PIMs) - which form membranes that are very good at separating gases and organic liquids. These are of interest, for example, for removing carbon dioxide from power station flue gases, or for removing organic compounds from water.
By combining PIMs with graphene, we expect to produce membranes with even better performance under long-term conditions of use.
In collaboration with other researchers across the University, we are also looking at practical ways of using the ability of graphene to act as a perfect barrier in, for example, food packaging, and we are building graphene into sensors for detecting human diseases and agricultural pests.