Journal: Environmental Science and Technology
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Easy-to-clean coating filters organic pollutants from wastewater
Filtering organic pollutants from wastewater is an energy-intensive process, and pollutants tend to build up and clog conventional filters. Now a team, which included scientists from Nanyang Technological University, has developed a filtering method that not only uses far less energy, but also is highly efficient and keeps the filtering membrane free from fouling.
Their invention is a permeable membrane whose wastewater-exposed side is coated with an ultrathin layer of hydrogel — a water-based gel.
The membrane uses the different concentrations of salt solution on either side to draw wastewater through it — a much more energy efficient method than forcing the water through. At the same time, the hydrogel coating traps pollutants such as oil, protein and other organic matter. Unlike existing membranes, which are prone to fouling, the hydrogel layer can be easily cleaned off by flushing it with water.
- Environmental Science & Technology 52, 1421–1428 (2018). doi: 10.1021/acs.est.7b04838