Water Filtration Membranes Using Chitosan and Recyclable Graphene Oxide
Durable, low-cost membranes filter water without fouling or microbial contamination
Researchers at ERDC’s Environmental Lab have developed a water filtration membrane that combines strength and durability with the thinness required to treat water on a large scale. Made from a combination of graphene oxide and chitosan – an earth-abundant compound found in crustacean shells – these membranes are anti-fouling and anti-microbial. Consequently, they are perfect for producing purified drinking water.
Typical water filtration systems need frequent replacement, making them prohibitively expensive to implement and maintain. By contrast, ERDC’s novel membrane is deformation-resistant and remains stable for much longer than current state-of-the-art filters. This remarkably thin membrane can efficiently remove virtually any contaminant (including salts, microcontaminants, and radiological pollutants) to produce safe drinking water. In addition, the graphene oxide can be recycled, further reducing the cost of operation compared to reverse-osmosis and similar systems. Together with its scalability, these unique qualities make this breakthrough membrane an ideal choice for large-scale water treatment systems.
- Durable: Maintains long life due to anti-fouling and anti-microbial properties
- Improved performance: Enables a higher rate of water flow at a lower pressure and power than other water filtration systems
- Low-cost: Requires less frequent replacement than reverse osmosis systems, and uses recyclable graphene oxide
- Scalable: Can be used in large-scale water filtration
- Environmentally friendly: Uses low-cost, renewable chitosan, the second most abundant biopolymer on Earth
- Water filtration (e.g., treatment, purification, softening, reuse)
- Environmental remediation (e.g., groundwater treatment)
- Public works (e.g., wastewater treatment, desalination, water filtration)
- Military (e.g., expeditionary forces, purification)
- Gas filtering (separators, CO2 capture, photocatalysis)
- Coatings (e.g., antimicrobial surfaces)
- Medical (e.g., drug delivery, tissue engineering)