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Comment Separation Processes

Nanostructured membrane for water purification

By Scott Jenkins |

A new composite-membrane distillation process capable of removing salt, toxic elements and microorganisms from water is being offered commercially for the first time this month. The process, known as NanoClear, was developed by Dais Analytic Corp. (Odessa, Fla.; www.daisanalytic.com) for industrial wastewater treatment and desalination. The process is said to offer significant advantages in fouling resistance and eventually cost savings over reverse osmosis at similar flowrates. The NanoClear process (diagram) leverages the unusual properties of Dais’ patented Aqualyte membrane, which has been used commercially in HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) applications for over a decade. “Our nanostructured Aqualyte membrane is able to remove a wide range of contaminants to parts-per-billion levels, and is highly resistant to fouling,” says Dais chief technology officer Brian Johnson. The 25–30-micron-thick membrane is made from a block copolymer with regions of polystyrene and rubber. A polar functional group is added to the styrene to make those regions hydrophilic, while the rubber regions remain hydrophobic. As the polymer solidifies, it develops inherent structure at the nanometer scale: hydrophilic channels form…
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