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SBIR Phase I: High Flux Thin Film Nanocomposite Reverse Osmosis Membrane

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 1647637
Agency Tracking Number: 1647637
Amount: $225,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: CT
Solicitation Number: N/A
Solicitation Year: 2016
Award Year: 2017
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2016-12-15
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2017-05-31
Small Business Information
7964 Arjons Drive Suite G
San Diego, CA 92126-4392
United States
DUNS: 080274867
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Qingwu Wang
 (858) 689-8808
Business Contact
 Qingwu Wang
Phone: (858) 689-8808
Research Institution

The broader impact/commercial potential of this Small Business Innovation Research Phase I project is to mitigate the global freshwater crisis. Water supplies are under stress in many areas of the world. Securing a supply of fresh water to meet the needs of population growth and increased industrialization is a global challenge. The proposed technology in this SBIR project will offer an opportunity to produce large scale high performance RO membranes in a continuous format at low cost to facilitate lower cost water purification. Phase I of this program will demonstrate the feasibility of the proposed approach in a batch format and lay a solid foundation for large through-put continuous production. This program will also enable further scientific/technological understanding on zeolite nanocrystal synthesis, self-assembly based on static charge interaction and chemical reaction. The technical objectives in this Phase I research project are to develop a commercially viable spray based layer by layer (LbL) deposition approach to fabricate thin film nanocomposite (TFN) RO membranes with more process control. Current RO purification systems require a high driving pressure mainly because of low water flux and fouling of the membranes. The proposed approach allows fabrication of highly cross-linked polyamide (PA) nanocomposite membranes with nanometer control over the film thickness, minimal roughness, uniform nanoparticle distribution, and defined local chemical and polymer composition. Compared with traditional reverse osmosis PA membranes, significant benefits can be expected from the proposed membrane including 2 to 3 times improvement in water flux, lower driving pressure, and less fouling and ease for cleaning. This SBIR program aims to develop a spray assembly technology to fabricate highly cross-linked TFN membranes on a porous support.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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