Development of Tailored Nano-materials for Water Treatment and Desalination


Nidal Hilal, Principal Invesitgator

Muzamil Khatri, Researcher

Water shortage has emerged as one of the century's primary concerns because of industrialization, climate change, rising population, and modernization. Water is regarded as a basic requirement and source of sustenance for all living species on the planet, but waste like, industrial effluents, heavy metals, volatile organic compounds, oil emulsions, or any hazardous substance divert a major threat to sea life. This has led to rapid demand for economical, recyclable, and sustainable water remediation technologies.

 Amongst various water treatment techniques, membrane distillation (MD) is a promising technology to get drinkable water from Sea or other contaminated water resources. MD process is used with low-grade energy sources such as geothermal/solar energies, to lower greenhouse gas emissions and make water remediation eco-friendly and sustainable. However, there are many improvements and optimizations are required for their efficient production and utilization at a large scale. An ideal membrane for MD is expected to have features such as high liquid entry pressure, low fouling rate, low thermal conductivity, high permeability, and excellent mechanical strength.

Surface and interfaces are important factors affecting the chemical, physical and morphological properties, which have a direct impact on water desalination/distillation performance and reusability. Thus, our research is focused on the development of modified nanofiber-based membranes with multiple features required for advanced water treatment.