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.

Membrane Development for Osmotic Power Generation
Pressure Retarded Osmosis (PRO) utilizes osmosis through a semi-permeable membrane to generate osmotic energy. In PRO, water spontaneous flows from a low-salinity feed solution to a high-salinity draw solution against an applied pressure, driven by the osmotic pressure difference between the feed and draw solutions. The permeation water flow is immediately pressurized to the applied pressure on the draw solution side, which can be further utilized for power generation via a turbine or an energy recovery device. The research groups utilises two waste streams (i.e. seawater RO brine and NEWater RO reject) for the harnessing of osmotic energy. This extracts additional value (i.e. energy recovery) from the two waste streams before they are discharged into the ocean. The power density of the PRO membrane is 6-fold higher than the commercial requirement of 5 W/m2 in the lab condition, and 2-fold higher when tested with the waste streams. The PRO membrane has demonstrated stable power generation under extensive pilot tests. More importantly, PRO dilutes the seawater RO brine with the NEWater RO reject and therefore mitigate the problems associated with discharge of concentrated seawater RO brine.