Researchers Developed Graphene-based Foam Composites For Efficient Water Filtration

Analysts at JPMorgan recommended selling or "underweight" emerging market local currency sovereign debt because of the global impact of the Ukraine-Russia crisis.

JPMorgan estimated that fixed-income assets in emerging markets have lost 6-9 percent of their value since Russia invaded Ukraine a month ago, with nervousness about the war and its impact on global energy and food prices adding to existing pressures.

Some leading emerging market central banks are signaling that interest rates now need to rise faster than previously expected, which fuels fears of "stagflation". Stagflation means when high inflation and higher interest rates undermine economic growth.  

With both the U.S. Federal Reserve and emerging market central banks raising interest rates, JPMorgan also said it made sense to "underweight" emerging market assets by taking advantage of the recent pullback in local currency bond yields relative to TREASURIES.  

JPMorgan said major metals exporters such as South Africa, Chile, and Peru could still do well, but warned that emerging market fixed income assets now faced a more "stagflationary" trajectory.

The markets and prices of many commodities, metals, chemicals like the graphene powder still face uncertainty.

While graphene-based materials have potential as adsorption materials, their performance may be hampered by aggregation and lack of control over their porosity and size. 
In a recent study, researchers from the Universities of Exeter, Kyushu, and Oxford tackled this problem by developing a unique graphene material and high-porosity composite foam to combat aggregation. 
 
Drugs are one of the most prominent emerging pollutants (EC) in water systems. They can cause serious environmental consequences as well as potential health problems. In order to successfully eradicate ECs from treated wastewater streams, sewage and drinking water purification facilities must adopt appropriate tertiary treatment methods. Compared to reverse osmosis, oxidation, microfiltration, ultrafiltration, ion exchange, etc., adsorption is considered to be a technology with great potential in water treatment because it is reliable and cheaper.
 
Graphene and graphene oxide (GO) have a greater tendency to adsorb natural pollutants because of their large innate specific area (relative to many different carbon-based substances), wettability, monolayer structure, and surfaces decorated with oxygen-containing functional groups (OCFG).
 
Boron nitride (BN) has many excellent qualities, including excellent thermal and chemical stability and excellent wear resistance; Therefore, it is used in high-temperature environments and other industries.
 
In this study, reduced porous GO nanofilms were effectively anchored to banded boron nitride foams for the treatment of water contaminated with gefilozide (GEM) in batch tests and column studies.
 
In terms of adsorption kinetics for gefilozil, the graphene-based foam is superior to its graphene-based competitors such as GO, PG, and Nanographene sheets (NGP), achieving an extraction efficiency of 90% in just 5 minutes. 
 
In terms of lifetime, graphene-based nanomaterials supported by BN foams showed consistent gefilozil drug extraction over multiple cycles, with no significant adsorption loss.  In addition, the foam material exhibits remarkable properties, including lightness of over 98% porosity and excellent strength, capable of withstanding 1,300-1,400 times its own weight. 
 
The researchers believe that enhanced graphene-based composite foams for filtration purposes will be an important step forward in the water and wastewater filtration technology.  These results suggest that high porosity foam-reinforced graphene nanomaterial filters with shorter interaction duration and longer penetration times for treating water and wastewater may be easily manufactured.
 
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The development of the Russia-Ukraine conflict will continue to dominate the commodity prices such as the graphene powder in the future. If the conflict eases or cools, Russia and Ukraine go back to negotiate, commodity prices would fall. However, if the situation between Russia and Ukraine deteriorates further, or evolves into a full-scale war, the price of the graphene powder is predicted to see further improvement over the coming days.

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