Membrane research promises less expensive desalination treatment

Since their introduction more than 40 years ago, interfacially polymerized reverse-osmosis membranes have become the leading technology used in desalination worldwide. However, despite the popularity of these membranes, scientists long have had an incomplete understanding of precisely how water passes through them.

In “Nanoscale control of internal inhomogeneity enhances water transport in desalination membranes,” a recently published article in the journal Science, a team of academic and industry researchers document how minute differences in density within RO membranes affect their performance. The findings are expected to boost membrane performance significantly, potentially reducing the amount of energy required to operate membranes

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