Khalifa University develops 3D-printed spacers that significantly improve desalination membranes' flux and resistance to fouling

November 06, 2019
Owning the Energy Transition More...
by Abhirabh Basu
Truly disruptive

Khalifa University's Center for Membranes and Advanced Water Technology (CMAT) has developed 3D-printed spacers for RO and UF membranes. The team has designed spacers called "triply periodic minimal surfaces" (TPMS) that are curved and thinner than traditional mesh-type spacers, lowering the pressure drop and allowing for greater membrane surface area in a module. As a result, membranes experience higher flux (16% for RO and 38% for UF), which directly translates to lower energy costs and higher water output. Also, the occurrence of biofouling can be reduced by up to 91%. Clients should investigate the advancements in 3D printing for the membrane market, including players like Aqua Membranes and research development at Khalifa and UConn.

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