Hong Kong-based advanced materials company Surwon Technology announced that a version of a new membrane coating it has tested in heavy-duty desalination applications could soon be part of new water filtration products specially-developed for the consumer market.

The ultra-thin, graphene-based coating has reportedly continued to perform well in ongoing controlled tests at various desalination plants on the Chinese mainland and the company says it is convinced the technology can make a substantial contribution to reducing the cost of thermal and reverse osmosis systems.

The membrane is said to improve the filtration capabilities of standard water filters by an order of 8 and extend their useful life by a magnitude of 20. If the planned deal goes ahead, it will be the first deployment of Surwon Technology's graphene innovations in the retail market.

"This was a side project undertaken by some of our more adventurous development team," said Surwon Technology's head of marketing. "They posited that if the derivative technology could gain traction in the consumer space, it would potentially pave the way to a quicker uptake of the desalination variant once our controlled tests are concluded sometime next year."

Surwon Technology says it is not at liberty to divulge the identity of the consumer group with which it is in partnership talks; it would only say that the company is based in Europe and is willing to commit what it calls "considerable sums" to the cost of producing the derivative membrane in sufficient quantities to meet its initial production estimates.