Superior Antifouling Capability of Hydrogel Forward Osmosis Membrane for Treating Wastewaters with High Concentration of Organic Foulants

Journal: Environmental Science and Technology

Published: 2018-01-03

DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.7b04838

Affiliations: 7

Authors: 5

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Research Highlight

Easy-to-clean coating filters organic pollutants from wastewater

© PhotoStock-Israel/Cultura/Getty

© PhotoStock-Israel/Cultura/Getty

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.

Supported content

  1. Environmental Science & Technology 52, 1421–1428 (2018). doi: 10.1021/acs.est.7b04838
Institutions Share
Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore 0.60
Soochow University, China 0.20
Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute (QEERI), HBKU, Qatar 0.10
Qatar Foundation, Qatar 0.10