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News Flash

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Advanced nanocomposite membrane technology of NanoH2O turns it to a Global clean technology company

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If any new technology could easily produce potable water from salty water, fresh water scarcity that is looming over our planet could be put on halt.  This is what NanoH2O is aiming for its advanced thin-film nanocomposite (TFN) membrane technology.

NanoH2O is advancing the work of Professor Eric Hoek of UCLA’s Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science. Polymer membrane technology in the desalination process is not a new one. The problem however, is in the increased production of water.  Increased production means to achieve enhanced membrane permeability but this allows too much salt to escape.  The other issue is to stop bacteria to flourish in the membrane known as fouling.  Dr. Hoek developed a polymer nanocomposite membrane using zeolite nanoparticles dispersed in one of the 2 monomer solutions by the interfacial polymerization process.  The idea of introducing nanoparticles was to increase the water permeability (preventing the salty ions) while changing the surface membrane properties to avoid fouling.  The process is known as Sea Water Reverse Osmosis (SWRO).  Dr. Hoek went further by adding traces of silver onto the nanoparticles.  Silver compounds are well known for their antimicrobial properties.

NanoH2O’s TFN membrane is expected to increase the production from 6,000 to 7,500 gallons/day/8”membrane to 12,000 gallons/day.  Since the size and the shape of the TFN membrane would remain the same, desalination plants could retrofit the membranes conveniently.  
No wonder NanoH2O becomes a Global Cleantech 100 clean technology company.

(Ref: NanoH2O Press release; Los Angeles, California, September 9, 2009

To follow more on Prof. Hoek’s recent work, see references below:

E.M.V. Hoek et al., “Influence of Solute-Membrane Affinity on Rejection of Uncharged Organic Solutes by Nanofiltration and Reverse Osmosis Membranes,” Environmental Science & Technology 43 pp. 2400-2406 (2009).

E.M.V. Hoek et al., “Effect of Mobile Cation on Zeolite-Polyamide Thin Film Nanocomposite Membranes,” Journal of Materials Research 24, pp. 1624-1631 (2009).

A.K. Ghosh, and E.M.V. Hoek, “Impacts of Support Membrane Structure and Chemistry on Polyamide-Polysulfone Interfacial Composite Membranes,” Journal of Membrane Science 336, pp. 140–148 (2009).

E.M.V. Hoek et al., “Influence of Feed Water Temperature on Separation Performance and Organic Fouling of Brackish Water RO Membranes,” Desalination239, pp. 346-359 (2009).

E.M.V. Hoek et al., “Influence of Feed Water Temperature on Inorganic Fouling of Brackish Water RO Membranes,” Desalination 235, pp. 44–57 (2009).