New membranes for water desalination

Since water scarcity has already become a serious globally emerging problem, which is predicted to escalate in the future, more efficient fresh water production technologies are needed. Recently, one of the most promising approaches in fresh water production is the reverse osmosis (RO). In this process, regular or nano-fabricated membranes are utilized to separate salts from water. Despite its prevalent position, there is room for improvement in energy and cost efficiency of the method. One possible way to improve the efficiency of the RO process is by engineering new type of membranes with higher water permeability and excellent salt rejection while maintaining physical stability and preventing fouling. Several type of materials with different configurations are investigated in order to design suitable membranes for water desalination. Classical Molecular Dynamics (MD) and non-equilibrium molecular dynamics (NEMD) techniques are used to asses the most important features of the new materials or configurations.

Chair:
Engineering Thermodynamics

Involved People:
Mate Erdos
Thijs Vlugt

Facilities used: