Nanostructured Membranes for Sustainable Desalination via Membrane Distillation

Membrane Distillation (MD) is a thermally driven membrane-based separation process, which is considered as one of the emerging and sustainable desalination technologies. Current desalination technologies are heavily energy intensive and not sustainable.

MD operates at atmospheric pressure and at low temperatures (30–70°C) so that renewable energy sources can be efficiently explored to meet the energy demand of MD process operation.

Efficient membranes are the soul of MD systems, and our research focuses on the engineering of nanostructured composite membranes for enhanced water reclamation and self-cleaning characteristics.

Niche Applications of the Membrane Distillation process are also being explored at NYUAD-WRC. Electrohydrodynamic atomization and simultaneous electrospinning and electrospraying are some of the several techniques that WRC is exploring for developing nanostructured composite MD membranes. The figure shows the FESEM images of electrohydrodynamically atomized nanostructures on the membrane surface.