Water Filtration Membranes with Built-in Continuous De-Fouling

Period of Performance: 02/23/2016 - 11/21/2016


Phase 1 STTR

Recipient Firm

Global Research & Development, Inc.
539 Industrial Mile Rd Array
Columbus, OH 43228
Firm POC
Principal Investigator

Research Institution

The Ohio State University
1330 Kinnear Road
Columbus, OH 43212
Institution POC


This proposal is in response to the DOE topic 12a on membrane technology, which represents an important method in water purification and recovery for industrial and environmental applications. Energy-related cost and water waste are significant issues with reverse osmosis (RO) membrane commonly used today and increased attention is being given to Nano-filtration (NF) technology. NF covers treatments of water with low salt concentration (of which there are many) and at the same time it offers benefits of complete organic molecule and particulate removal. NF offers a lower cost alternative to RO in terms of unit price and operating costs. Consequently NF is poised for rapid growth in the market. Inorganic NF membranes offer higher performance and are more durable than polymer NF membranes. Fouling, i.e. gradual performance degradation, is a recurring issue with all water membranes, and methods to either prevent or mitigate it are vigorously sought for by the research community. The overall goal of the SBIR program is to develop and commercialize a cost effective thin supported meso-porous cerium oxide (CeO2) membrane on a porous ceramic support, which includes a piezoelectric layer for continuous de-fouling. If successful the membrane is expected to solve some of the key challenges encountered in the existing membranes. With the successful completion of the program, it is expected that a cost-effective fabrication protocol becomes available for viable ceramic membranes with high selectivity and permeance that remain in operation without any fouling. In Phase I, multi-layer membrane structures will be developed, consisting of a