Membrane filtration has been used for many decades for treatment and purification of water and is well established. It has broad area of use and systems that reduce energy consumption and investment costs have been developed. If the risk of fouling could be significantly reduced this would cause a further revolution in technology impact.
Fouling is one of the major challenges in the membrane industry since it is associated with process downtime, use of water and cleaning chemicals and reduction of the membrane lifetime.
A new generation of membranes with anti-fouling capability for water treatment applications can be developed by inclusion of up to 1 wt% of graphene oxide (GO) during the fabrication of the membrane. The membranes have increased hydrophilicity, optimized pore size and mechanical properties, as well as negative Z-potential to reject major fouling component such as extracellular polymeric substances (EPS), and microorganisms.
Improved anti-fouling and optimized pore size lead to reduction of trans-membrane pressure, anti-fouling properties and reduce the frequency of cleaning. Those parameters are the most important factors for both the the investment- and running costs for membrane applications. By lowering the costs and improve efficacy, a wide range of new resource efficient applications for water treatment will be technically and economically viable.
RISE is the coordinator of this project and is developing the anti-fouling membranes.
3,2 M SEK