Other affiliations: California NanoSystems Institute
Bio: Anna Jawor is an academic researcher from University of California, Los Angeles. The author has contributed to research in topics: Membrane & Reverse osmosis. The author has an hindex of 7, co-authored 8 publications receiving 1665 citations. Previous affiliations of Anna Jawor include California NanoSystems Institute.
TL;DR: In this article, a new concept for formation of mixed matrix reverse osmosis membranes by interfacial polymerization of nanocomposite thin films in situ on porous polysulfone supports is reported.
Abstract: Here, we report on a new concept for formation of mixed matrix reverse osmosis membranes by interfacial polymerization of nanocomposite thin films in situ on porous polysulfone supports. Nanocomposite films created for this study comprise NaA zeolite nanoparticles dispersed within 50–200 nm thick polyamide films. Hand-cast pure polyamide membranes exhibit surface morphologies characteristic of commercial polyamide RO membranes, whereas nanocomposite membranes have measurably smoother and more hydrophilic, negatively charged surfaces. At the highest nanoparticle loadings tested, hand-cast nanocomposite film morphology is visibly different and pure water permeability is nearly double that of hand-cast polyamide membranes with equivalent solute rejections. Comparison of membranes formed using pore-filled and pore-opened zeolites suggest nanoparticle pores play an active role in water permeation and solute rejection. The best performing nanocomposite membranes exhibit permeability and rejection characteristics comparable to commercial RO membranes. As a concept, thin film nanocomposite membrane technology may offer new degrees of freedom in tailoring RO membrane separation performance and material properties. © 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
TL;DR: The data presented offer additional support for the hypothesis that zeolite crystals alter polyamide thin film structure when they are present during the interfacial polymerization reaction.
Abstract: Zeolite-polyamide thin film nanocomposite membranes were coated onto polysulfone ultrafiltration membranes by interfacial polymerization of amine and acid chloride monomers in the presence of Linde type A zeolite nanocrystals. A matrix of three different interfacial polymerization chemistries and three different-sized zeolite crystals produced nanocomposite thin films with widely varying structure, morphology, charge, hydrophilicity, and separation performance (evaluated as reverse osmosis membranes). Pure polyamide film properties were tuned by changing polymerization chemistry, but addition of zeolite nanoparticles produced even greater changes in separation performance, surface chemistry, and film morphology. For fixed polymer chemistry, addition of zeolite nanoparticles formed more permeable, negatively charged, and thicker polyamide films. Smaller zeolites produced greater permeability enhancements, but larger zeolites produced more favorable surface properties; hence, nanoparticle size may be considered an additional "degree of freedom" in designing thin film nanocomposite reverse osmosis membranes. The data presented offer additional support for the hypothesis that zeolite crystals alter polyamide thin film structure when they are present during the interfacial polymerization reaction.
TL;DR: In this article, a model that considers changes only to solute and solvent properties was proposed to evaluate separation performance and humic acid fouling for two RO membranes treating brackish water at temperatures of 15, 25, and 35°C.
Abstract: Data are presented from a series of laboratory experiments designed to evaluate separation performance and humic acid fouling for two RO membranes treating brackish water at temperatures of 15, 25, and 35°C. A model is proposed that considers changes only to solute and solvent properties. Model results and experimental data confirm that solute concentration polarization decreases, while water permeability and salt permeability increase with temperature. Overall, higher feed water temperature reduces energy consumption and observed salt rejection to a greater extent than that predicted by the model, which suggests that RO transport models must be developed for predicting changes in solution and membrane properties. At all temperatures, salt rejection increases after introduction of humic acid, probably due to membrane modification and sealing of thin film defects. Humic acid colloidal size decreases with increasing temperature. At higher temperatures, humic acid rejection is lower (as measured by TOC) due to changes in the membrane structure and in the fraction of dissolved TOC. Flux decline is much more severe at 15°C, but practically identical at 25 and 35°C. The mass of humic acid accumulated on the membranes is essentially the same at all temperatures, but specific cake resistance increases as temperature decreases; hence, specific cake resistance increases with increasing humic acid colloid size. These results have important implications for engineering efforts to mitigate membrane fouling and reduce energy consumption in brackish water desalination.
TL;DR: In this article, a bench scale RO process simulator was operated in a batch concentration mode to determine the effects of product water recovery and feed water temperature on flux, rejection, and inorganic fouling by gypsum scale formation for simulated brackish water.
Abstract: A bench scale RO process simulator was operated in a batch concentration mode to determine the effects of product water recovery and feed water temperature on flux, rejection, and inorganic fouling by gypsum scale formation for simulated brackish water. As feed water temperature increased, salt rejection and concentration polarization decreased (reducing scale formation potential at a given recovery). However, gypsum crystal nucleation and growth rates increased with temperature. Specifically, at 15 and 25°C gypsum scale formation resulted in slow, steady flux decline at recoveries as low as 10–20%. At these temperatures, many small crystals formed over the entire membrane surface. In contrast, at 35°C flux decline was due to the increasing feed solution osmotic pressure — up to a recovery of about 70%. At this recovery, we observed a sudden, rapid loss of flux and a concomitant spike in feed water turbidity. Relatively few (in number), large crystals formed on the membrane towards the brine outlet of the RO simulator, but the entire membrane surface was covered with “needle-like” crystal fragments. The crystal fragments broke off from growing gypsum rosettes and re-deposited uniformly across the membrane forming a “cake layer” that caused the massive flux decline. These results suggest that high temperature operation of brackish water RO processes could enable higher recovery and lower energy consumption, but operating near the limiting recovery (at elevated temperature) creates an increased risk of a catastrophic fouling event.
TL;DR: In this article, composite nanofiltration membranes were prepared by coating polyvinyl alcohol hydrogels on polysulfone ultrafiltration support membranes, and the combined Spiegler-Kedem-film theory model was used to extract water and salt ions through PVA coating films.
Abstract: Composite nanofiltration membranes were prepared by coating poly(vinyl alcohol) hydrogels on polysulfone ultrafiltration support membranes. Ultra-thin and defect-free poly(vinyl alcohol) hydrogels were cast using multi-step coating procedure with dilute PVA aqueous solutions and novel in situ cross-linking. The combined Spiegler–Kedem–film theory model was used to extract water permeability, solute permeability, reflection coefficients, and mass transfer coefficients for the composite membranes. Transport of water and salt ions through PVA coating films was dramatically influenced by feed solution pH and counter-ion valence as well as PVA molecular weight, concentration, and extent of cross-linking. Characterization of PVA coating film thickness, extent of cross-linking, surface thermodynamic properties, and crystallinity were used to explain differences in observed transport properties of the composite membranes.
TL;DR: Recent development in nanotechnology for water and wastewater treatment is reviewed, covering candidate nanomaterials, properties and mechanisms that enable the applications, advantages and limitations as compared to existing processes, and barriers and research needs for commercialization.
Abstract: Providing clean and affordable water to meet human needs is a grand challenge of the 21st century. Worldwide, water supply struggles to keep up with the fast growing demand, which is exacerbated by population growth, global climate change, and water quality deterioration. The need for technological innovation to enable integrated water management cannot be overstated. Nanotechnology holds great potential in advancing water and wastewater treatment to improve treatment efficiency as well as to augment water supply through safe use of unconventional water sources. Here we review recent development in nanotechnology for water and wastewater treatment. The discussion covers candidate nanomaterials, properties and mechanisms that enable the applications, advantages and limitations as compared to existing processes, and barriers and research needs for commercialization. By tracing these technological advances to the physicochemical properties of nanomaterials, the present review outlines the opportunities and limitations to further capitalize on these unique properties for sustainable water management.
TL;DR: In this article, a semi-quantitative ranking system was proposed considering projected performance enhancement (over state-of-the-art analogs) and state of commercial readiness, while commercial readiness was based on known or anticipated material costs.
Abstract: Nanotechnology is being used to enhance conventional ceramic and polymeric water treatment membrane materials through various avenues. Among the numerous concepts proposed, the most promising to date include zeolitic and catalytic nanoparticle coated ceramic membranes, hybrid inorganic–organic nanocomposite membranes, and bio-inspired membranes such as hybrid protein–polymer biomimetic membranes, aligned nanotube membranes, and isoporous block copolymer membranes. A semi-quantitative ranking system was proposed considering projected performance enhancement (over state-of-the-art analogs) and state of commercial readiness. Performance enhancement was based on water permeability, solute selectivity, and operational robustness, while commercial readiness was based on known or anticipated material costs, scalability (for large scale water treatment applications), and compatibility with existing manufacturing infrastructure. Overall, bio-inspired membranes are farthest from commercial reality, but offer the most promise for performance enhancements; however, nanocomposite membranes offering significant performance enhancements are already commercially available. Zeolitic and catalytic membranes appear reasonably far from commercial reality and offer small to moderate performance enhancements. The ranking of each membrane nanotechnology is discussed along with the key commercialization hurdles for each membrane nanotechnology.
TL;DR: A review of the development of reverse osmosis (RO) membrane materials can be found in this paper, where an overview of RO performance in relation to membrane materials and methods of synthesis is provided.
Abstract: Reverse osmosis (RO) is currently the most important desalination technology and it is experiencing significant growth. The objective of this paper is to review the historical and current development of RO membrane materials which are the key determinants of separation performance and water productivity, and hence to define performance targets for those who are developing new RO membrane materials. The chemistry, synthesis mechanism(s) and desalination performance of various RO membranes are discussed from the point of view of membrane materials science. The review starts with the first generation of asymmetric polymeric membranes and finishes with current proposals for nano-structured membrane materials. The paper provides an overview of RO performance in relation to membrane materials and methods of synthesis. To date polymeric membranes have dominated the RO desalination industry. From the late 1950s to the 1980s the research effort focussed on the search for optimum polymeric membrane materials. In subsequent decades the performance of RO membranes has been optimised via control of membrane formation reactions, and the use of poly-condensation catalysts and additives. The performance of state-of-the-art RO membranes has been highlighted. Nevertheless, the advances in membrane permselectivity in the past decade has been relatively slow, and membrane fouling remains a severe problem. The emergence of nano-technology in membrane materials science could offer an attractive alternative to polymeric materials. Hence nano-structured membranes are discussed in this review including zeolite membranes, thin film nano-composite membranes, carbon nano-tube membranes, and biomimetic membranes. It is proposed that these novel materials represent the most likely opportunities for enhanced RO desalination performance in the future, but that a number of challenges remain with regard to their practical implementation.
TL;DR: This review will first introduce the major foulants and the principal mechanisms of membrane fouling, and then highlight the development, current status and future prospects of antifouling membranes, including ant ifouling strategies, preparation techniques and practical applications.
Abstract: One of the greatest challenges to the sustainability of modern society is an inadequate supply of clean water. Due to its energy-saving and cost-effective features, membrane technology has become an indispensable platform technology for water purification, including seawater and brackish water desalination as well as municipal or industrial wastewater treatment. However, membrane fouling, which arises from the nonspecific interaction between membrane surface and foulants, significantly impedes the efficient application of membrane technology. Preparing antifouling membranes is a fundamental strategy to deal with pervasive fouling problems from a variety of foulants. In recent years, major advancements have been made in membrane preparation techniques and in elucidating the antifouling mechanisms of membrane processes, including ultrafiltration, nanofiltration, reverse osmosis and forward osmosis. This review will first introduce the major foulants and the principal mechanisms of membrane fouling, and then highlight the development, current status and future prospects of antifouling membranes, including antifouling strategies, preparation techniques and practical applications. In particular, the strategies and mechanisms for antifouling membranes, including passive fouling resistance and fouling release, active off-surface and on-surface strategies, will be proposed and discussed extensively.