I-Corps: Bio-inspired membranes

Grants and Contracts Details


Membranes with pores or channels specifically engineered to maximize water transport would offer the potential for more efficient operation compared to conventional polymer membranes. The development of biomimetic membranes and the in-depth understanding of solute transport and fouling mechanisms could yield energy savings and aid membrane commercialization for water treatment, leading to significant economic and societal benefits. The biomimetic strategy provides a novel route for fouling resistance. The present size of the membrane flat sheets prepared in at the laboratory scale is 10cm x 10 cm (or 0.1m x 0.1 m?). They are tested by cutting circular pieces of diameter 2.5cm in a dead end type filtration unit. We concluded that these membranes offer the most desirable qualities such as high selectivity, efficient cleaning, and high flux recovery. However, in order to determine their commercialization potential, they need to be tested in a cross flow filtration unit, which is a realist approach. Cross flow filtration units require membranes of testing size 20cm x 20cm. Hence we will require to fabricate long sheets of membranes of several feet (or maybe mention the size?). This proposal will focus on the scalable fabrication of our biomimetic membranes to understand the mechanisms that cause defects in membranes. This understanding is necessary because poor processing will lead to defects, such as pinholes, that allow microorganisms to grow and potentially permeate the membrane. It is hypothesized that such defects originate during manufacture, especially when scalable processes are used.
Effective start/end date1/15/176/30/18


  • National Science Foundation: $50,000.00


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