Membrane Design for Water Separation Technologies

Wednesday, 8 October 2014: 08:00
Expo Center, 2nd Floor, Universal Ballroom (Moon Palace Resort)
S. P. Nunes (King Abdullah University of Science and Technology)
Membranes are the core of efficient technologies for water desalination (reverse osmosis) and reuse (ultrafiltration and membrane bioreactor), biomedical processes (hemodialysis) and energy conversion (fuel cell and pressure retarded osmosis).  We have been designing multifunctional polymers and copolymers and manufacturing membranes with tailored morphologies for different membrane applications.  We have been synthesizing polyazoles with controlled hydrophilicity and porosity and testing for different applications.  We explored dense films of polyoxadiazoles and polytriazoles with ionic charge for fuel cell.  Hydrophobic fluorinated polyazoles were tested for membrane distillation.  The exceptionally high oxidative and temperature resistance as well as the possibility of preparing membranes insoluble in organic solvents have extended the applications to harsh conditions, usually addressed only by ceramic membranes. The biocide function of triazole has been also investigated to reduce biofilm formation under operation for wastewater treatment.  Triazole modified polysulfone membranes were synthesized for manufacture of ultrafiltration membranes with low fouling susceptibility.  Porous asymmetric polyazole membranes have been prepared as flat-sheet and hollow fiber membranes. Random, graft and block coopolymers based on triazole are currently being explored for membrane manufacture in our group.