Thin Film Nanocomposite Membranes Resist Clogging for Desalination
Researchers from the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science have developed a new class of reverse-osmosis desalination membranes that resist clogging when seawater, brackish water, and waste water are purified. The highly permeable, surface-structured membrane can easily be incorporated into commercial production systems, the researchers say, and could help to significantly reduce desalination operating costs. Their findings appear in the Journal of Materials Chemistry.
The new membrane was synthesized through a three-step process. First, researchers synthesized a polyamide thin-film composite membrane via conventional interfacial polymerization. Next, they activated the polyamide surface with atmospheric pressure plasma to create active sites on the surface. Finally, these active sites were used to initiate a graft polymerization reaction with a monomer solution to create a polymer “brush layer”...