Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2014NJ356B

Novel approach to sea and brackish water desalination via membrane distallation

Institute: New Jersey
Year Established: 2014 Start Date: 2014-03-01 End Date: 2015-02-28
Total Federal Funds: $5,000 Total Non-Federal Funds: $10,000

Principal Investigators: Smruti Ragunath, Somenath Mitra

Abstract: Recent climatic change with fairly widespread drought along with depleting ground water levels due to extensive water use is drawing us into a state of water scarcity. This increases the global demand for water purification and sea water desalination. Conventional methods for desalination include Reverse Osmosis, Multi Stage Flash, and Multiple Effect Desalination, which are expensive and energy intensive. Membrane distillation (MD) is an alternative to these traditional methods due to its lower energy requirements. The key challenge in the real-world development of MD is the membrane itself which needs to provide high pure water flux while eliminating saline water. The objective of this research is to develop novel membranes for water desalination by immobilizing carbon nanotubes (CNTs) within its pores where the CNTs enhance the transport of pure water.