Strategies for Anti-Fouling MembranesTechnology #14347n
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Strategies for Anti-Fouling Membranes
Xue LI; Neal CHUNG
Department of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering
To sustain high performance of membranes, fouling on membranes must be mitigated. Membranes are prone to fouling due to its surface properties. To mitigate fouling, a polymer layer can be attached onto the surface of a membrane. Grafting hydrophilic linear polymers such as polyethylene glycol on membrane surfaces has improved fouling resistance. However, such non-controllable and randomly curly polymer chains can also block surface pores and reduce permeability.
This technology relates to the grafting of suitably designed polymers onto the membrane substrate for anti-fouling purposes.
Figure 1: SEM images of outer surfaces (A) and viable adherent fractions (B) of (a) PES, (b) Modified PES -1 hollow fibers after exposure to S. aureus (top) and E. coli (below) at an initial cell concentration of 5 × 107 cells/mL for 4 h at 37 ºC. The cell number was determined by the spread plate method. (C) Membrane fouling performance in wastewater PRO process using synthetic seawater brine (0.8M NaCl) and municipal wastewater as draw and feed solutions, with the selective layer facing the draw solution.
Figure 2: SEM images of outer surfaces (A) and viable adherent fractions (B) of (a) PES, (b) PES-PDA, (c) Modified PES-2 and (d) Modified PES-3 hollow fibers after exposure to S. epidermidis (top) and E. coli (below) at an initial cell concentration of 5 × 107 cells/mL for 4 h at 37 ºC. (C) Membrane fouling performance by using concentrated wastewater as feed. The normalized water flux decline is plotted against testing time. The draw solution initially contained 1 M NaCl, and wastewater was used as the feed solution. Hydraulic pressure difference between feed and draw solutions was 10.0 ± 0.5 bar.
High resistance to bio-fouling and organic
Suitable for a wide range of membrane substrates
Suitable for membranes in a wide range of
applications, e.g. MF, UF, RO
Other Potential Application
Anti-fouling treatment on membranes
Can be applied to other substrates.
For more information, contact:
NUS Industry Liaison Office
:+65 6516 7175
Ref : 14347N
Principal Investigator: Prof. Neal Chung
This research is supported by the Singapore National Research Foundation under its Environment & Water Research Programme and administered by PUB, Singapore’s national water agency.