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Active Water Filtration Membrane for Minimal Concentration Polarization

Energy, Cleantech & Environmental
Air / Water Purification
Purification & Separation
College
College of Engineering (COE)
Researchers
Prakash, Shaurya
Bellman, Karen
Licensing Manager
Wohlgamuth, Christopher
(614)-247-8331
wohlgamuth.5@osu.edu

TS-015002 — A technology capable of reducing concentration polarization and therefore minimize membrane fouling that arises during membrane-based separation, filtration, or concentration processes.

Desalination produces potable water in areas of the world that have unreliable access to fresh water. The most common method of desalination requires a membrane-based filtration system to filter salt and other particles out of the water. External concentration polarization, which occurs when solut…

The Need

Desalination produces potable water in areas of the world that have unreliable access to fresh water. The most common method of desalination requires a membrane-based filtration system to filter salt and other particles out of the water. External concentration polarization, which occurs when solute accumulates on the surface of a membrane, decreases the driving pressure of the fluid and limits flux through the membrane. This ultimately inhibits the efficiency of the membrane and the desalination process. Current methods employed to reduce concentration polarization are energy intensive or require the membranes to be frequently replaced. To enhance the effectiveness of membranes used for filtration, separation, and concentration processes, a more efficient method for the reduction of concentration polarization is needed.

The Technology

Researchers at The Ohio State University, led by Dr. Shaurya Prakash, have developed a module that integrates into a membrane filtration system to reduce the concentration polarization that occurs during filtration, separation, or concentration processes. To reduce the concentration polarization, low voltages are applied to the module during the filtration process. This technology is applicable for forward osmosis or reverse osmosis applications and can be applied to any membrane used in separation processes.

Commercial Applications

  • Membrane filtration: water filtration, food concentration, water recycling from oil and gas

Benefits/Advantages

  • Requires less energy and lower voltage (<1 V)
  • Increases flux through the membrane (up to 40% with a power consumption on the order of 0.5 mW)
  • Generates a 5.23 V/m field at 100 Hz and 1 kHz, which is far below the kV/m fields from existing technology
  • Low fouling potential by concentration polarization mitigation allows for reduced membrane operating costs
  • Can be applied to existing filter systems to provide higher flux