Optimization of the chemistry and the microstructure of membranes
In this project area, the main target is the development of new membranes for use in the membrane-based forward osmosis water desalination. In this process, membranes mainly control the salt rejection efficiency. In this project area, new forward osmosis membranes are designed, and the influence of their chemistry and microstructure on the desalination performance will be investigated. The focus is to design membranes that have high efficiencies in the salt rejection process, with minimum negative influence on the water flux from the reservoir to the draw agents and a minimum fouling effect. The main effort is on the development of thin-film composite forward osmosis membranes and modified nanofiltration membranes, which are modified to be used in the forward osmosis process. In addition, the development of ceramic type membranes is partly studied. The performance of these membranes is investigated by using optimized thermo-responsive hydrogels as draw agents considering the results of project areas 1 and 2.