This technology relates to an apparatus and method for determining the porosity, pore size, pore-size distribution (PSD), and internal pore fouling of all membrane types, namely flat-sheet, hollow fibre or tubular (including lumen side or outer wall). Evapoporometry (EP) is based on the evaporative mass loss from membranes that have been pre-saturated with a wetting volatile liquid, whose vapour pressure is reduced due to surface curvature at the air-liquid interface within the pores.
The evapoporometer instrument is applicable to membrane manufacturers and users in the desalination, water treatment, and liquid separations sectors as well as in the pharmaceutical, chemical, biochemical, and food and beverage industries. The technology may be used for the following applications:
A conservative estimate of the number of Liquid Displacement Porometers (LDP; the market-dominant instrument for measuring membrane PSD) in the world currently in use is around 10,000 units. A Liquid Displacement Porometer typically costs around $100,000. Hence, the market potential for a high-resolution EP instrument is in the neighbourhood of S$1 billion. Even a 10% share of this market would be worth a very significant $100 million.