Our project partner, TEKNIKER, is analyzing the promising use of electrospun nanofiber-based forward osmosis membranes in the desalination process, seeking to improve water flow and rejection performance through the implementation of advanced active layers.

The DESOLINATION project aims to develop an innovative desalination system combining direct osmosis and membrane distillation, using a draw-off solution. Forward osmosis means that seawater is extracted from the sea, the water is drawn through the membrane by the draw solution and the remaining minerals (brine) are rejected.

In recent decades, the electrospun nanofiber mat composed of numerous stacked polymeric nano-sized fibers has attracted growing attention in the fabrication of high-performance FO membranes. The unique interconnected pore structure and high porosity of the membranes can endow the composite FO membrane with a lower structural parameter, leading to the effective alleviation of ICP.

The DESOLINATION project analyzes the modification of the polymer surface to improve the performance of water treatment membranes.

Our project partner, the Technical University of Eindhoven (TU/e) is obtaining electrospun membranes of different polymers and TEKNIKER is applying polyamide thin film active layer on the electrospun membrane by interfacial polymerization, being possible to control the thickness of this active layer by adjusting the chemistries of the reactants and the conditions of the deposition and curing process.

The next step is to test the performance of the obtained membranes. Stay tuned!

Contributors: Saioa Herrero López and Miren Blanco