One-step drinking water treatment using nanofiltration and nanostructured composites

One-step drinking water treatment using nanofiltration and nanostructured composites

The aim of this project is to develop an innovative one-step drinking water (DW) treatment technology, which can remove both inorganic, organic and microbiological contaminants with great effectiveness. This technology will not only reduce the discharge of chemicals to the environment, compared with the dechlorination technology currently adopted, but should also effectively remove microbiological and organic contaminants by addressing the limitations of disinfection methods that use TiO2 and UV. The proposed solution is based on using a novel silver-graphene adsorptive-biocide composite in combination with a nanofiltration membrane separation system. Graphene is a uniquely structured carbon with attractive adsorbent properties, which in combination with silver, enables the removal of low concentration pollutants. The silver-graphene nanocomposites will be deposited on the membrane surface enabling a one-step treatment. In addition, the proposed technology will be designed to control the growth of biofilms in order to reduce the re-growth potential of the microbial contaminants. A full life-cycle, energy balance and sustainability for long-term operation assessment will be performed on the system, and this novel, highly commercialisable technology will be developed from small scale through to 30L scale with system testing in the field in conjunction with our industrial partners. The outputs from this project include the publication of at least five research papers, one potential patent application and one commercialisable technology developed in conjunction with our industrial partners. In addition, one PhD candidate will graduate and a Post Doctoral Researcher will have received three years of training. Success in this project will enable the UDRI to apply for funding for continuation projects with FP7 partners. Finally, a more reliable drinking water treatment system will have been developed for small rural water schemes which can be expanded to include applications in countries where clean drinking water is a national problem.

If you want to read more about this project, you can do so at erc.epa.ie.

Environmental Protection Agency 2011-W-MS-8
Anne Morrissey

Keywords: Drinking Water; Contaminantion; Treatment; Nanofiltration

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