Nanotechnological Application in WAter DESalination
The objective of the NAWADES project is to study, design, produce, and test a new membrane system for the desalination of seawater. The technical concept is based on four developments:
- The ultra-membrane filtration that usually precedes an osmosis membrane stage can be integrated directly and compactly in a multi-layer membrane filter.
- Formation of deposits (scaling and fouling) can be reduced by using plasma technology to treat the surfaces of the membranes.
- Fouling through microbial growth can be prevented by integrating titanium dioxide nanofibers into the membrane in conjunction with the radiatiointegration of UV light through a glass fabric into the space between the membrane layers.
- The state of the membranes can be monitored by applying a double-sided coating which functions capacitively. This is then analyzed.
The new filter is designed to provide a self-cleaning, low-maintenance membrane filtration system to be used in seawater desalination processes. It is characterized by higher efficiency and longer lifetime, as well as reduced energy consumption as a result of reduced fouling leading to lower pressure.