Development of Ceramic Membranes for Water Treatment and Desalination

Our research is currently addressing critical issues related to wastewater treatment, such as fouling mitigation, salt recovery, and harmful dye decomposition through the fabrication of flexible ceramic membranes and electrically conductive inorganic membranes.

Membrane fouling can constitute up to 24% of total operational costs leading to millions of dollars being spent annually. Conventional treatments for membrane regeneration involve chemical agents, thus requiring their safe disposal and, many at times, adding to the negative environmental impact of the water treatment plant.

Our research focuses on the application of periodic electrolysis to mitigate fouling in electrically conductive ceramic membranes. The challenge lies in making such membranes flexible and electrically conductive. We are currently incorporating functional nanomaterials and using surface modification techniques to achieve thermally and chemically stable electrically conductive ceramic ultrafiltration and nanofiltration membranes. Apart from water treatment, these membranes can help us solve several of the existing problems associated with dye wastewater treatment, such as salt recovery for the recovery of important minerals and dye degradation.