Hybrid Polymeric-Ceramic Nanostructured Materials

G.R. Guillen, E.M.V. Hoek, R.B. Kaner
Water Planet Engineering, US

Keywords: membrane, hydrophilicity, oleophobicity, polymeric, ceramic, produced water


UCLA professors have collaborated to develop a portfolio of IP around the synthesis of a new class of polymeric-ceramic nanostructures, coating films and membranes. As membranes, these novel materials exhibit microfiltration like productivity with nanofiltration-like selectivity, glass-like hydrophilicity and oleophobicity, intrinsic anti-bacterial activity without release of toxic compounds, high stability when exposed to temperatures up to 100º C, acid below pH 1 and base above pH 13, and mechanical robustness required for most practical coating film and membrane applications. This range of properties suggests these materials will excel as filtration and molecular separation membranes in water purification and other industrial separations. Traditional polymeric filtration membranes are relatively inexpensive, but cannot tolerate fouling and do not have acceptable thermal, chemical, or mechanical stability to support challenging industrial water treatment applications. Ceramic filtration membranes are extremely capital intensive, but much more stable. Our material targets the robustness, fouling tolerance and easy to clean characteristics of ceramics, while retaining the tunable selectivity, packing density and low-cost of polymerics. This material exceeds the state-of-the-art in almost every category, most importantly robustness and economics.