Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2013MO140B

Removal of NOMs by Advanced Thin Film Composite Membranes for the Control of Disinection Byproducts

Institute: Missouri
Year Established: 2013 Start Date: 2013-03-01 End Date: 2014-02-28
Total Federal Funds: $7,190 Total Non-Federal Funds: $39,472

Principal Investigators: Baolin Deng, Baolin Deng

Abstract: It is known that interactions of natural organic matters (NOMs) and chlorine could generates a number of harmful disinfection byproducts (DBPs) such as trihalomethanes (THMs), haloacetic acids (HAAs), and N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA). Among various methods used for the control of DBPs, removal of NOMs by membrane-based nanofiltration (NF) and reverse osmosis (RO) is considered one of the most effective approaches. The membrane treatment has merits because they are capable of removing NOMs and other contaminants simultaneously and easily adaptable to different scales with modular design. In addition, it has become increasingly cost-competitive in comparison with other approaches such as coagulation/flocculation and carbon adsorption. This is proposed originally as a two-year project. In the first year we will focus on fabricating various MMMs membranes, and in the second year, we will assess and evaluate the impact of the NOM removal on the formation of DBPs. One Ph.D. student and two undergraduate assistants will be involved in the project to complete Task 1. Due to the significant total budget reduction, we will focus on the first year objective- i.e., fabrication of various MMMs membranes. The overall goal of this research is to develop high performance mixed matrix nano composite membranes (MMM) that could be used to effectively remove NOMs from the source water and thus decrease or eliminate the formation of DBPs during water chlorination. The key hypotheses are that the membrane removal efficiency for NOMs can be significantly enhanced by introducing more negative charges and higher hydrophilicity on the membrane surface via embedment of various silica nanoparticles. We will use polyamide as the thin-film layer on the polysulfone support to make thin-film composite, and select various silica nanoparticles as fillers. The specific objective for year one, is to fabricate mixed matrix nano-composite membranes (MMMs) with various silica nanoparticles. This study addresses one of the most challenging issues facing many municipal water supplies in the State of Missouri, and the results may lead to the development of a more cost-effective membrane approach for the control of DBPs.