Tech Bundle


Singapore Membrane Consortium

Traditionally, membrane technology has been widely adopted by the water industry largely due to its lower cost and higher efficiency across the water production, treatment and recycling process. However, innovations in membrane technology are increasingly finding applications in the energy, pharmaceutical, biomedical, food and beverage, and environmental sectors. SG MEM has been set up as a platform to showcase Singapore’s unique ecosystem for membrane technology and to foster partnerships and collaborations towards developing enterprise solutions for the various industry sectors beyond the traditional water space.

Ultra-Wetting Graphene-based Ultrafiltration Membrane
In recent years, graphene has gained much attention in the field of membrane science and engineering due to its high surface area, mechanical strength and chemical stability. Theoretical analysis has also predicted that graphene-based membranes may exhibit 2-3 orders of magnitude higher permeability than the current state of the art membranes. However, experimental studies show that there are limitations in achieving such improved permeability due to the challenges associated with the fabrication of leak-free porous graphene membranes with very large surface area. The technology owner's patented ultra-wetting graphene-based membrane has been developed with a unique method that facilitates the easy scalability of this membrane. The membrane being hydrophilic can operate at very low pressure and thereby can help to reduce 20-50% of the overall energy consumption. Membranes are robust and resist fouling and thereby reduces the frequent cleaning requirement, chemical usage, and downtime. It can be used for all ultrafiltration applications such as pre-treatment to RO, potable water treatment, produced water treatment etc. The technology owner is looking for industry partners (membrane manufacturers or system integrators with capabilities to scale-up the membrane) who can bring this technology to market by licensing this technology.
Fouling Resistant Membranes for Reverse Osmosis and Organic Solvent Nanofiltration
Current reverse osmosis (RO) membranes are dominated by polyamide-based thin-film composite (TFC) membranes, which typically show rough surfaces with ridge-and-valley structures that has contributed to high fouling tendency. This technology relates to smooth fouling resistant TFC membranes which can be fabricated on various support for fouling-resistant RO and organic solvent nanofiltration (OSN) applications. The fabrication process is straightforward and a large variety of supports can be used. The technology owner is seeking interested parties to license and commercialize this technology. Collaborations for projects of mutual interest would also be welcome.
Carbon Quantum Dots Based Brackish Water Reverse Osmosis Membranes
According to the United Nations, half of the world's population grapples with water scarcity for at least a month each year. To meet heightened demands for clean water, treatment processes are crucial in turning unusable water into a supply that is safe for drinking, sanitation, and industrial use. For reverse osmosis thin film composite (TFC) membranes bear tiny pores that allow select molecules to pass through while blocking out the rest. However, their ability to block contaminants tends to impede water flow, yielding a lower volume of purified water from the initial supply. The reverse is also true. Enhanced water permeability typically reduces the membrane’s selectivity against unwanted chemicals. To maximise the production of clean water from brackish water, membranes that can overcome these drawbacks must be engineered. This technology offer describes an improved, highly permeable TFC membrane for the desalination of brackish water through reverse osmosis (RO), as well as a method for production thereof. Here, functionalised carbon quantum dots (CQDs) are synthesized and incorporated into the selective layer of the membrane. The technology provider is currently seeking commercial entities interested to license this technology for commercialization.
Hollow Fiber Nanofiltration Membranes for Heavy Metal Removal
Heavy metals are highly toxic contaminants found in industrial wastewater that may find their way into drinking water sources through unregulated discharge from industrial plants. Even at low concentrations, heavy metals can disrupt a human body's normal physiological activities and can accumulate in certain organs causing a range of chronic diseases. As such, heavy metal pollution has drawn attention from regulatory agencies throughout the world that has set increasingly stringent standards to curb heavy metal discharge into water bodies and membrane technology will be able to treat these wastewaters. This technology relates to nanofiltration (NF) membrane molecularly designed to remove heavy metals such as Zinc, Nickel and Lead at higher rejection rates compared to conventional NF membranes. This is done through functionalizing specialized polymers on a P84 polyimide substrate which provides an extra means to remove heavy metals through adsorption. 
Superior Antifouling & Highly Permeable Reverse Osmosis Membranes via Green Synthesis
This technology relates to a series of block co-polymers that have the superior anti-fouling capability made through green synthesis by using water as a solvent. One of the co-polymers has been grafted onto the selective layer of thin film composite (TFC) membranes as a demonstration of its anti-fouling function. The resultant membranes show pure water permeability of up to 10 LMH/bar, NaCl rejection of ~98%, and high resistance to alginate and protein fouling. Moreover, no significant fouling is observed when realistic feed from the local RO plant is tested for 10 days.    
Dehumidification using High-Performance PAN-based Composite Hollow Fiber Membrane
This invention relates to a polyacrylonitrile (PAN)-based membrane suitable for dehumidification and oxygen enrichment, with a proprietary PDMS selective layer. The substrate material is PAN, which is a low cost and commonly available polymer for membrane fabrication. The membrane is made by coating the substrate with the selective layer. The membrane may also be suitable for gas separation, air separation, paraffin-olefin separation, oxygen enrichment, CO2 capture, hydrocarbon recovery, and volatile organic compounds separation.
Graphene-derived Membranes with High Ionic Selectivity
Graphene-derived permeable membrane with ion selectivity permits outgoing and incoming of selective ions (e.g. positively or negatively charged in a system). They consist of ion channels that facilitate the efficient separation and transport of different ions. As such, these membranes are employed to produce required ions via electrolysis of salt solution during a process. The technology relates to the use of functionalized graphene oxide (GO) based membranes so as to separate ions from the feed stream for the purpose of kidney dialysis, nanofiltration or ion exchange. The membrane is a graphene-based membrane with an electrical charge, in which layers of graphene-based material are stacked together, with one or more nano-channels between neighboring layers.
Organics Dehydration using Ceramic Thin Film Composite Membranes via Pervaporation
Isopropanol (IPA) is an important solvent and cleaning agent with wide applications in semiconductor, microelectronic and pharmaceutical industries. IPA is primarily produced by combining water and propene in a hydration reaction. The IPA produced is usually in a mixture with water and distillation is used to obtain IPA with 87.9% purity. Higher purity IPA can only be achieved through azeotropic distillation with cyclohexane or diisopropyl ether. In both cases, a large amount of energy is used for the purification process. To lower purification cost, pervaporation, a membraneā€based technology, is a promising method because of its easy operation, low energy consumption and small footprint. Pervaporation is a membrane process whereby the permeate side is under vacuum and water is vapourised as it passes through the membrane from the feed side to the permeate side. Pervaporation is able to provide a high level of separation efficiency for azeotropic mixtures of alcohols and water to obtain the purity required for the alcohols. This technology relates to a thin film composite (TFC) membranes on ceramic substrates (referred to as ceramic TFC membranes thereafter) for pervaporation dehydration of organics. The ceramic TFC membrane can be obtained by using interfacial polymerization on a microfiltration ceramic membrane. Compared to commercially available ceramic and polymeric membranes for pervaporation, it has extremely high water flux compared to other ceramic/polymeric membranes for pervaporation making it suitable for high volume processing.
Superlyophobic Materials for Immiscible Liquids Separation
Separation of oil/water mixture using wetting materials has been extensively investigated. However, the wastes released in industrial processes such as multi-phase liquids extraction, food industries or chemical reaction contain more complicated liquids components. The technology presents a novel strategy to prepare a broad range of superlyophobic materials based on polydopamine (PDA) mediated coating. The results demonstrate that the deposition of PDA nanoparticles enhances the growth of silicone microsheets (SMS), which increases trapped air fraction and results in superlyophobicity towards high surface tension liquids and superlyophilicity to liquids with surface tension smaller than 30 mN/m. Superlyophobic sorbents generated from melamine foam and polyurethane foam can absorb various oils with capacity from 53 g/g to 120 g/g (melamine foam) and from 26.5 g/g to 52.5 g/g (polyurethane foam), depending on the oil type and density. High absorption capacity of porous foams towards oils makes them possible to remove low surface tension liquids from a batch of high surface tension immiscible organic liquids such as formamide or diethylene glycol. On the other hand, superlyophobic membranes fabricated from stainless steel mesh, cotton fabric and filter papers can filter chloroform and carbon tetrachloride from water and formamide with efficiency higher than 96%. All as-prepared superlyphobic materials show excellent regeneration. The preparation of superlyophobic materials introduced in this work opens a general strategy for separation of immicible liquids by both static and continuous methods. The technology provider is seeking partner for research collaboration, scale-up testing/test-bedding, product co-development, technology licencing or manufacturing.