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By Edited by Gerald Ondrey |

Nanofiltration Toray Industries, Inc. (Tokyo, Japan; www.toray.com) has created what is claimed to be the world’s highest-level nanofiltration membrane. The new membrane triples the permeation performance of conventional models while enhancing ion and organic-compound separation from aqueous solutions. In developing new membranes, the challenge is to balance a tradeoff between selective separation and permeation. Toray therefore began exploring a membrane mechanism that would help improve permeation. This resulted in a porous and protuberant structure that expanded the surface area, delivering selective separation greatly exceeding that of regular setups to triple water permeability, says the company. Nanofiltration is used for removing organic solvents and agrochemicals from groundwater and rivers. Nanofiltration membranes are also used in the food and biotechnology fields, notably to desalinate soy sauce and dairy products, and to purify amino acids and lactic acid. The company will accelerate development of the new membrane, scaling it up with a view to commercialization within the next three years. Anticipated applications include water treatment, resource recovery and biorefineries.
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