Electric field-assisted membranes for organic solvent nanofiltration

Period of Performance: 06/15/2015 - 12/14/2015


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Thermosolv, LLC
3474 North 3rd Street
Laramie , WY 82072
Principal Investigator


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): This multi-phase SBIR project targets a significant problem within the mission of the National Institute of General Medical Sciences: rapid size-based separation of small (100-1000 Da) molecules in bio manufacturing. The aim here is to simplify and radically improve this currently multi-stage and a resource-intensive process. Manufacturing of active pharmaceutical ingredients is the primary targeted application. Secondary applications include extraction of high-value natural compounds and synthesis of fine chemicals for health care, and separation of small molecules from complex mixtures in biomedical research and analysis. The development of novel all-inorganic membranes for organic solvent nanofiltration is proposed. The membranes will be made from self-organized nanoporous ceramic - a material that features practically monodisperse pores. The applied electric field will allow precise tuning of the effective pore diameter. The proposed membranes, due to their unique architecture and operating principle, will have unprecedented sharp and controllable molecular-weight cut-off and high permeance. The novel membranes will be commercialized in partnerships with the end users. The proposed concept already generated a considerable interest, confirming that the market for such membranes is significant, with important existing and new applications and market niches to be served. The main objective of the Phase I is to demonstrate feasibility of the proposed approach by fabricating novel nanofiltration membranes and confirming that their performance satisfies the requirements of the selected applications.