Processes using CNT enhanced membranes can be operated using low grade heat sources (waste heat or solar energy) to handle higher salt concentrations compared to RO and requires less pretreatment. These membranes can also be used to harvest water from air or water vapor released from cooling towers.
Primary Application Area: Water, Waste, Environmental
Technology Development Status: Prototype
DETAILED TECHNOLOGY SUMMARY
One of the world’s major opportunities – the generation of pure water from sea and brackish water. CNT enhanced membrane distillation can be operated as a “low-cost” energy technology especially using low grade heat sources (waste heat or solar energy). CNT enhanced membranes are less prone to fouling and can handle a much higher salt concentration than reverse osmosis (RO), and will effectively compete with the conventional high-energy desalination processes: RO, Multi Stage Flash (MSF), and Multiple Effect Desalination (MED). CNT enhanced membranes can be integrated into an existing RO plant as a hybrid system that will significantly increase the water recovery rate (from a typical 40% to more than 80%). It can also be integrated with MSF and MED plants. Other applications include the treatment of brine wastewater generated from oil & gas drilling. Our CNT enhanced membranes can also be used to harvest water from air or water vapor released into air from cooling towers.
FIGURES OF MERIT
Value Proposition:We have discovered a relatively inexpensive method to immobilize carbon nanotubes on commercially available membranes to enhance their performance for applications in both improved water desalination and capturing water from air and water vapors.
We experimentally demonstrated the narrowest and best beam pattern quality for Terahertz (THz) Quantum cascade lasers (QCLs) to-date.
Organization Type: Early-stage Startup (Seed)
GOVT/EXTERNAL FUNDING SOURCES
Vetted Programs/Awards: TechConnect 2015 National Innovation Award, R&D 100 Award, Rice Alliance Venture Finalist, CTSI Defense Energy Challenge