Liquid Gated Membrane: Filtering Liquids with other Liquids - Dream Health

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Monday, 3 December 2018

Liquid Gated Membrane: Filtering Liquids with other Liquids

Waste materials find a place in water in a number of different ways, in some cases water needs to be purified from waste that comes into it from industries and in other cases water needs to be purified from municipal waste. In all these cases the most important part, is that water needs to be filtered or purified. The problem arises when you take into account costs and the effect of purifying water on the environment.

In the U.S. 13% of all electricity costs can be accounted for, by purifying water. Electricity costs are one thing, but what about the environment? Water purification accounts for 290 million metric tons of Carbon Dioxide released into the atmosphere per year which is roughly equal to the weight of every human on the planet. This is where Liquid Gated membranes step in.

The Problems with Current Methods of Water Purification: 

The current methods of filtering out water, use membranes that have pores that are roughly the size of water molecules that are used to filter out the contaminating particles much like sieve.

What happens periodically, is that the membranes gets clogged with the very material that it is supposed to be filtering out, thus increasing the energy required to push through the partially clogged membrane, water that still needs to be purified. Routinely, the membrane needs to be switched out when it becomes useless, thus further increasing costs.

The New Liquid Gated Membranes to the Rescue: 

Why is Liquid Gated Membranes better you ask? Well , the answer is simple it brings down the cost of purifying water and get fouled or spoilt much lesser as compared to current methods of purifying water.

The liquid gated membranes are more efficient in filtering out nano- clay particles from the water than the current method. They also take threefold the time to foul as compared to today’s method and does not require as much pressure to push through water that needs to be purified thorough its pores.
In the long run, liquid gated membranes save costs and electricity consumption making it a much more viable option that what you have today.

How does Liquid Gated Membranes Work? 

Liquid gated membranes are coated with a liquid that acts as a gate which is responsible for filling and sealing the pores within the membrane. When pressure is put on the liquid gated membrane, the
liquid within the pores is pulled to the sides thus making an opening in the pore which will then be lined with the liquid. This layer of liquid lined pores can then be tuned to allow for filtering out of specific particles in liquids or gases. This liquid gated membrane also fouls much later as compared to what membranes are used today because of the liquid lined pores.

While testing out the liquid gated membrane, it was also noted that the membrane required backwashing, to clear out particles that clog the membrane, after much more time as compared to current methods.

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