Hardik Patel is currently an undergraduate student studying Mechanical Engineering. He is an intern at the Rutgers Energy Institute for the summer of 2015, working with Professor Stephen D. Tse of the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering.
1: Please briefly describe your research. In our research, we attempted to produce graphene by chemical reactions within a chamber using a special flame. This allowed us to create graphene residue on a thin plate of copper. This graphene is stronger, lighter, and more efficient than most filters for desalination. Hopefully, graphene will be used for all reverse osmosis filters in cleaning saltwater in the near future.
2: How did you come to be involved in this research? I was previously a student of Dr. Tse for Thermodynamics and had wanted to do research under him. He told me he found his own way of producing graphene and suggested we test it for desalination. His pitch to me was “how come a gallon of gasoline is cheaper than a gallon of water?”
3: Where do you see your research fitting into our energy future? Graphene implemented in desalination will help the nation conserve more energy. About 20% of the US energy consumption goes towards cleaning water and using Graphene will save money and energy as it is a better filter in general. This can help the country redirect energy towards more needed applications.