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Superior Antifouling, Highly Permeable Reverse Osmosis Membranes via Green Synthesis

Technology Overview

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.

 

 

Technology Features & Specifications

  • Solution processible
  • Easy waste management as water is used as the solvent during polymer synthesis
  • For membrane applications, grafting of the polymer does not require a major change to existing TFC membrane fabrication processes
  • Anti-fouling properties
  • Pure water permeability of up to 10 LMH/bar, NaCl rejection of ~98%
  • High resistance to alginate and protein fouling

Potential Applications

  • Reverse Osmosis; Nanofiltration; Pressure Retarded Osmosis
  • Any application requiring a thin film composite membrane
  • Other surfaces requiring anti-fouling properties

Market Trends and Opportunities

Biofilm mitigation in membranes has been highlighted as an unmet need with near-term urgency and high need prevalence. In addition, anti-fouling coatings on the bottom of ships or marine vessels prevent excessive growth of subaquatic organisms that will lead to hydrodynamic drag, high fuel consumption, increased transportation time and risk of goods perishing in transit. Demand for global anti-fouling coatings was 84.3 kilo tons in 2014 and is projected to surpass 130.0 kilo tons in the next seven years. 

Customer Benefits

  • Health and environmentally friendly as water is used as the polymerization solvent, making the whole modification process organic solvents-free
  • Anti-fouling properties

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