Navigation Links
New chlorine-tolerant, desalination membrane hopes to boost access to clean water
Date:7/22/2008

AUSTIN, TexasA chemical engineering professor at The University of Texas at Austin is part of a team that has developed a chlorine-tolerant membrane that should simplify the water desalination process, increasing access to fresh water and possibly reducing greenhouse gases.

"If we make the desalination process more efficient with better membranes, it will be less expensive to desalinate a gallon of water, which will expand the availability of clean water around the world," Professor Benny Freeman says.

The research will be published July 28 in the German Chemical Society's journal Angewandte Chemie.

Freeman worked primarily with James E. McGrath of Virginia Tech University and Ho Bum Park of the University of Ulsan in South Korea for more than three years to develop the chlorine-tolerant membrane made of sulfonated copolymers. A patent has been filed.

Chlorine must be added to water to disinfect it to prevent a biofilm (stemming from biological contaminants in the raw water) from forming on the membrane, which would reduce its performance. It is then de-chlorinated prior to sending it through the currently used polyamide membranes, which don't tolerate chlorinated water.

"It promises to eliminate de-chlorination steps that are required currently to protect membranes from attack by chlorine in water," Freeman says. "We believe that even a small increase in efficiency should result in large cost savings."

The development could also have a direct impact on reducing carbon-dioxide emissions, which contribute to global warming.

"Energy and water are inherently connected," Freeman says. "You need water to generate power (cooling water for electric power generation stations) and generation of pure water requires energy to separate the salt from the water. That energy is often generated from the burning of fossil fuels, which leads inevitably to the generation of carbon dioxide. Therefore, if one can make desalination more energy-efficient by developing better membranes, such as those that we are working on, one could reduce the carbon footprint required to produce pure water."

Freeman says McGrath and his research group developed novel materials based on an entirely different platform of membranes than those used today in desalination membranes. These new materials are extremely tolerant to aqueous chlorine so their performance doesn't deteriorate in the presence of chlorine.

"Basically, Dr. McGrath radically changed the chemical composition of the membranes, relative to what is used commercially, and the new membranes do not have chemical linkages in them that are sensitive to attack by chlorine," says Freeman, who holds the Kenneth A. Kobe Professorship in Chemical Engineering and the Paul D. & Betty Robertson Meek & American Petrofina Foundation Centennial Professorship in Chemical Engineering.


'/>"/>

Contact: Benny Freeman
freeman@che.utexas.edu
512-232-2803
University of Texas at Austin
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Nuclear desalination
2. New partnership offers outsourced R&D in membrane biology
3. New membrane strips carbon dioxide from natural gas faster and better
4. Researchers develop better membranes for water treatment, drug delivery
5. European membrane expertise to focus on new treatments for human diseases
6. Carnegie Mellon develops computer model to study cell membrane dynamics
7. Green tea boosts production of detox enzymes, rendering cancerous chemicals harmless
8. Rutgers high school outreach gets $3 million boost from NSF
9. Breast cancer research and inkjet tissue printing get NSF boost
10. Breastfeeding boost IQ in infants with helpful genetic variant
11. Earlier bites by uninfected mosquitoes boost West Nile deaths in lab mice
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/5/2017)...  The Allen Institute for Cell Science today announces ... portal and dynamic digital window into the human cell. ... application of deep learning to create predictive models of ... a growing suite of powerful tools. The Allen Cell ... publicly available resources created and shared by the Allen ...
(Date:3/30/2017)... , March 30, 2017  On April 6-7, 2017, ... the Genome hackathon at Microsoft,s headquarters in ... competition will focus on developing health and wellness apps ... Hack the Genome is the first hackathon ... The world,s largest companies in the genomics, tech and ...
(Date:3/27/2017)... , March 27, 2017  Catholic Health Services ... Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Analytics for achieving Stage ... Model sm . In addition, CHS previously earned ... hospitals using an electronic medical record (EMR). ... high level of EMR usage in an outpatient ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/23/2017)... ... May 23, 2017 , ... ... its 20th anniversary, marking the occasion with a strong presence at Bio-IT World ... Reception and further extends an invitation to all attendees to view posters ...
(Date:5/23/2017)... ... May 22, 2017 , ... A new Technology ... Diego, California, this August will feature high-level speakers on quantum devices, graphene electronic ... Optics and Photonics, the largest multidisciplinary optical sciences meeting in North America, will ...
(Date:5/23/2017)... ... May 23, 2017 , ... Energetiq Technology, a ... a facility expansion to accommodate its rapid growth. , The renovations at the ... renovation of the existing areas. The expansion includes, a state-of-the-art engineering facility, and ...
(Date:5/23/2017)... ... ... Bacterial biofilms, surface adherent communities of bacteria that are encased in a ... and catheter infections to gum disease and the rejection of medical implants. Though ... year, there is currently a paucity of means for preventing their formation or treating ...
Breaking Biology Technology: