In recent years, improved membrane technologies have been used for water and wastewater filtering due to their low energy consumption, ease of preparation at scale, and the breadth and low cost of polymers that can be used. Unfortunately, membrane-based filtration systems, especially ultrafiltration and nanofiltration membranes, tend to foul due to unwanted particles on the surface and in the membrane pores.
Researchers at the University of Alberta have developed an improved process for creating membranes with improved surface topographies and patterning. One aspect of this invention enables the creation of a membrane with the dense layer on the patterned side, greatly improving fluid flux. Additional micro and nano-scale features that are created through this process greatly increase the surface area, further increasing flux. These features also help decrease fouling due to more effective chaotic eddies.
- Greatly reduced membrane fouling compared to alternatives.
- Increased flow through the membrane (experiments showing 70% above a comparable featureless membrane).
- Can be easily implemented into continuous scale production.
Technology Management Group
TEC Edmonton – University of Alberta