Engineering the Next Generation of Membrane Materials Needed to Achieve Global Water Sustainability

Join Dr. Eric Hoek, Professor and Director, UCLA Sustainable LA Grand Challenge, at the WFI 2022 Annual Conference on December 7, 2022. He will be addressing the next generation of membrane materials needed to achieve Global Water Sustainability Goals.

Engineering the Next Generation of Membrane Materials Needed to Achieve Global Water Sustainability Goals

Today, we have commercially available NF/RO membranes with separation performance ranging from high-divalent/low-monovalent rejecting NF membranes up to seawater RO membranes exhibiting >99.85% TDS rejection and everywhere between. However, we know of no commercial NF or RO membranes that were specifically developed for the removal of uncharged organic solutes, which may be present at trace levels in surface and ground waters and higher levels in tertiary wastewater effluents. Given the sustainability imperatives driving increased utilization of impaired local waters and municipal wastewater as potable water sources and the ubiquity of NF/RO membranes in their treatment, it begs the question, “If one were to develop a new NF/RO membrane, specifically for uncharged organic solute rejection, how permeable could it be to water while meeting organic solute rejection goals?” Herein, I will give a broad overview of sustainability research at UCLA and review a few highlights from UCLA NanoMeTeR Lab research over the past two decades, including a few of our attempts to translate our scientific discoveries and inventions into commercial innovations. Then, I will present new results--both experimental and theoretical--on uncharged organic solute transport through NF/RO membranes in the hopes of answering the question posed above, in addition to giving guidance toward the necessary physical-chemical properties of low-pressure NF/RO membranes designed specifically for uncharged organic removal, which may be one of the last unmet challenges in aquatic membrane separations and a key for meeting long term water sustainability goals globally.

WFI 2022 Program

2022 Product of the Year Nomination

The award is set to promote product development in the filtration and separation industry for a clean, healthy, and sustainable world. Find more about the 2022 Product of the Year Nomination HERE.