Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

FP7

NATIOMEM Result In Brief

Project reference: 245513
Funded under: FP7-NMP
Country: Denmark

Water treatment membranes activated by the Sun

Access to water fit to drink is threatened by increasing contamination and water scarcity. New water treatment technology requiring minimal electricity and infrastructure could provide important relief.
Water treatment membranes activated by the Sun
Increasing population growth and human activities are putting severe pressure on our planet's sustainability. Availability of clean water has long been a major challenge in the Middle East and South Africa, and is a growing concern in western countries. Around the globe, technology to reclaim contaminated surface water and wastewater will have important impact on the quality of life of all citizens.

EU-funded scientists developed new membranes for water treatment technologies within the scope of the project 'Nano-structured TiON photo-catalytic membranes for water treatment' (NATIOMEM) . The porous substrate combining ceramic and metal membrane filters out particles and microorganisms larger than the pore size. A photocatalytic coating based on titanium oxide is activated by sun light to kill microorganisms, decompose and mineralise organic pollutants, and oxidise dissolved metals.

The NATIOMEM project is focused on production of safe drinking water in rural areas of South Africa, and on remediation of grey wastewater for toilet flushing and irrigation to be implemented on rooftops in Jordan's urban areas. Laboratory test results were quite promising and three pilot plants were used to evaluate the membranes' performance.

Scientists provided updated recommendations regarding the design and application of the photocatalytic membranes. Realistic use scenarios requiring efficient pre-filtration and recirculation of water for multiple passes and anti-fouling activity were included. The technology is now poised to provide simple, effective and economical water treatment in regions of extreme water scarcity.In addition to applications in water treatment, several novel coating techniques developed within the scope of the NATIOMEM project show promise for future use in hydrogen production plants and third-generation solar cells. Results have been published in seven peer-reviewed scientific publications as well as communicated at numerous conferences and workshops.

The NATIOMEM project has produced filtration membranes that have the potential to significantly increase the commercial competitiveness of partners. Exploitation of the proposed water treatment process could also have important impact on the availability of clean drinking water in challenged regions such as the Middle East and South Africa. With both rural and urban applications, opportunities abound for exploitation.

Related information

Keywords

Wastewater, water treatment, porous membrane, photocatalytic coating, hydrogen production, solar cell, Sun
Record Number: 91428 / Last updated on: 2013-07-19
Domain: Environment