An integrated multiscale modeling and experimental approach to design fouling-resistant membranes

Project Personnel

Sapna Sarupria

Principal Investigator

Email

David Ladner

Clemson University

Email

Scott Husson

Clemson University

Email

Ilenia Battiato

Stanford University

Email

Funding Divisions

Division of Chemical, Bioengineering, Environmental, and Transport Systems (CBET), Division of Materials Research (DMR)

This project addresses a grand challenge facing society today--how to make clean water available to a growing population at low cost. Membranes used in water treatment processes are exposed to feed waters containing organic, inorganic, and biological species, which leads to fouling and loss of membrane productivity over time. Since performance loss due to fouling is one of the largest costs associated with membrane processes in water treatment, discovery of new surface treatments that limit fouling would have significant economic and societal impacts. Fouling propensity of a membrane depends greatly on its surface properties such as chemistry and morphology. The goal of this project is to develop the multiscale mathematical framework to predict fouling behavior on the surfaces of membranes with different geometric patterns and chemical coatings. The ability to predict fouling properties of new membrane surfaces in silico will accelerate the discovery of novel membrane designs and decrease the time from laboratory to market.