Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2015NJ372B

Development of novel membranes for reuse of brackish water and sea water desalination via membrane distillation

Institute: New Jersey
Year Established: 2015 Start Date: 2015-03-01 End Date: 2016-02-28
Total Federal Funds: $5,000 Total Non-Federal Funds: $10,000

Principal Investigators: Smruti Ragunath, Somenath Mitra

Abstract: Membrane distillation (MD) is an alternative to traditional desalination methods such as reverse osmosis and multi stage flash distillation. The key challenge facing MD is the membrane itself which needs to provide high water flux while eliminating salt. The objective of this research is to develop new methodologies for modifying the membrane properties, thereby enhancing the membrane performance. In MD the inlet side of the membrane is required to be hydrophobic to prevent salt water intrusion. The novel membrane proposed here enhances pure water flux by increasing the hydrophilicity on the permeate side. This will be accomplished by providing a thin film coating of a hydrophilic polymeric layer.