Poly-Cera™ Membrane Technology: Polymer Economics with Ceramic Performance

S. Bhattacharjee
Water Planet Engineering, US

Keywords: membrane, ceramic, polymer, ultrafiltration, wastewater

Summary:

Ceramic membranes are hydrophilic as well as being thermally, mechanically and chemically robust; hence, ceremics are fouling-tolerant and easy to clean. They are preferred in challenging separations like industrial wastewater and oily water treatment. However, ceramic membranes are expensive, challenging to manufacture and produce low-packing density modules, and hence, large footprint plants. In contrast, polymeric membranes are easy and inexpensive to manufacture in high packing density modules and compact plant sizes, but they are less robust, do not tolerate high fouling feed waters and degrade when cleaned too frequently. Also, they cannot be used in high temperature and extreme pH applications. A membrane material that has the complementary strengths of ceramics and polymeric membranes is a long sought after innovation. Derived from novel nano-structured polymer materials, PolyCeraTM membrane materials exhibit ceramic-like stability and hydrophilicity, while retaining the ease of manufacturing, high packing density and favorable economics of polymers. It is envisioned that such a breakthrough membrane material could find widespread use in challenging water treatment applications and industrial separations.