Improving the durability and performance of hollow fibre membranes with nanocomposite and inorganic/organic hybrid materials

by Chi Yan Lai

Institution: Victoria University
Department: Institute for Sustainability and Innovation
Year: 2014
Keywords: 0904 Chemical Engineering; Institute for Sustainability and Innovation (ISI)
Record ID: 1043526
Full text PDF: http://vuir.vu.edu.au/25844/


Water is a vital element for our existence but secure supply is challenged by population pressures and climate change. To ensure water security, it is essential to explore new sources and to recycle water for non-potable applications to reduce demand for the more valuable potable water. Membranes are key to the ability to treat such water sources to the required quality. Seawater pretreatment for reverse osmosis (RO) with microfiltration (MF) and ultrafiltration (UF) membranes is technically and economically feasible with significant advantages over conventional granular media filtration. In these applications, current commercial MF and UF membranes may have shorter lifespans and can wear irreversibly over time, especially in the presence of abrasive particles in seawater and other challenging water sources. Recent work in the literature has shown that the physical strength, flux and antifouling properties of membranes can be improved by incorporation of nanoparticles. In this work, advanced nanocomposite membranes were prepared and studied for improvements in physical durability with particular interest in resistance to abrasion. Very little is currently published in the open literature on this subject possibly due to the economic and regulatory sensitive nature of the issue.