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High-Flux Water Desalination Membranes

Energy, Cleantech & Environmental
Air / Water Purification
Purification & Separation
College
College of Engineering (COE)
Researchers
Ho, W.S. Winston
Licensing Manager
Bartell, Cordellia
6146882933
bartell.22@osu.edu

TS-014923 — An improved thin-film composite membrane which will efficiently purify greater amounts of water for reverse osmosis applications

Access to potable, contaminant-free water is increasingly difficult in developing countries. Water purification by reverse osmosis is a potential solution, but only 12,500 desalination plants exist and less than 1% of the world's total water consumption is supplied by this process. Membrane-ba…

The Need

Access to potable, contaminant-free water is increasingly difficult in developing countries. Water purification by reverse osmosis is a potential solution, but only 12,500 desalination plants exist and less than 1% of the world's total water consumption is supplied by this process. Membrane-based technologies are utilized in 62% of the world's purification facilities, but these techniques require significant energy investments. Improving the efficacy of thin-film composite (TFC) membranes utilized in such desalination units would increase production capacity and reduce the system's energy consumption.

    The Technology

    Researchers at The Ohio State University, led by Dr. Winston Ho, synthesized a thin film composite membrane capable of high-flux desalination at >99% salt rejection. The TFC membrane structure was augmented by incorporation of hydrophilic functional groups via interfacial polymerization. This desalination membrane should double the water flux of the FT-30 type TFC membrane with significantly decreased system footprint and energy consumption. The research group conducted several iterative tests to determine optimal hydrophilic composition and concentration and have several designs to meet a variety of system requirements.

    Commercial Applications

    • Water desalination at an industrial and domestic scale

    Benefits/Advantages

    • Improved efficiency due to higher flux, which results in greater desalination throughput capabilities
    • Greater than 100% increase in water flux and greater than 99% salt rejection