Materials for Energy, Efficiency and Sustainability: TechConnect Briefs 2015Materials for Energy, Efficiency and Sustainability TechConnect Briefs 2015

Water Technologies Chapter 8

Carbon Nanotube Immobilized Membranes for Next Generation Desalination

S. Roy, M. Bhadra, S. Mitra
New Jersey Institute of Technology, United States

pp. 258 - 259

Keywords: carbon nanotube, membrane, desalination, membrane distillation

The objective of this project is to utilize carbon nanotubes (CNTs) to create breakthrough membrane properties for the generation of pure water via membrane distillation (MD). This fundamentally new approach will reduce the cost and energy requirements for the utilization of waste and brackish water and will dramatically change the competitive landscape of conventional methods such as Reverse Osmosis (RO) and thermal evaporation. Also, MD can be operated at relatively lower temperatures (60-90oC) using low-grade heat. This makes feasible the possibility of utilizing waste heat and alternative energy sources such as solar energy. The use of electrical energy is minimal. The novel membrane referred to as carbon nanotube immobilized membranes (CNIM) are developed by immobilizing CNTs into membrane pores where, they serve as molecular transporters and sorbents, thus providing additional pathways for solute transport. The CNTs also increase the functional surface area due to their high aspect ratio. All of these mechanisms play important roles in the transport of water vapors and lead to enhanced performance desalination