TITLE: Testing of Synthetic Biological Membranes for Forward Osmosis Applications

WRITTEN BY: Jurek Parodi, Jaione Romero Mangado, Ofir Stefanson, Michael Flynn, Rocco Mancinelli, Brian Kawashima, Serina Treu, Adrian Brozell, Kevan Rosenberg

PRESENTED AT: 46th International Conference on Environmental Systems

10-14 July 2016, Vienna, Austria

ABSTRACT: Commercially available forward osmosis membranes have been extensively tested for human space flight wastewater treatment. Despite the improvements achieved in the last decades, there is still a challenge to produce reliable membranes with anti-fouling properties, chemical resistance, and high flux and selectivity. Synthetic biological membranes that mimic the ones present in nature, which underwent millions of years of evolution, represent a potential solution for further development and progress in membrane technology. Biomimetic forward osmosis membranes based on a polymeric support filter and coated with surfactant multilayers have been engineered to investigate how different manufacturing processes impact the performance and structure of the membrane. However, initial results of the first generation prototype membranes tests reveal a high scatter in the data, due to the current testing apparatus set up. The testing apparatus has been upgraded to improve data collection, reduce errors, and to allow higher control of the testing process.

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