Nanostructured Fibrous Membranes for Efficient Membrane Distillation

Treatment of industrial effluents, including produced water from oil fields and especially shale-gas productions is closely correlated with major environmental problems related to energy production. Background: Membrane distillation is a separation process in which separation occur due to phase change across a barrier formed by hydrophobic membrane for liquid phase, allowing vapor phase to pass through pores. Technology Overview: Implementation of process includes asymmetric wettability in order to induce directional liquid transfer through the membrane, after the completion of liquid phase transition. Use of nano-fibrous mats instead of conventional separation membranes, with tunable pore sizes, interconnected pores and high porosity in order to achieve a high throughput. Current proposal intends to integrate liquid transition across barrier layers used in separation membranes, the advantages include concepts for application to membrane distillation. Advantages: Use of super-hydrophibic surfaces create an environment favorable for vapor liquid and liquid phase transition with reduced energy requirement Applications: Intellectual Property Summary: Stage of Development: Licensing Potential: We seek to develop and commercialize, by an exclusive or non-exclusive license agreement and/or sponsored research, with a company active in the area. Licensing Status: Available for License Additional Information: Chemistry ultra-thin nano-fibers, surface modifications, vapor-liquid phase transitions on molecular/nano scales, switching of hydrophobicity to increase throughput
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