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Towards a physical-chemical theoretical framework for membrane-based micropollutant removal from contaminated surface water.

  • 1 September, 2020
  • Wageningen University, Environmental Technology
  • prof. dr ir A van der Wal
  • dr ir JE Dykstrair E Spruijtdr ir PM Biesheuvel

Water sources for drinking water can be contaminated with micropollutants (MPs), which are organic molecules resulting from upstream emissions from industry, agriculture, and households.

To remove MPs, membrane technologies, such as reverse osmosis (RO) and nanofiltration (NF), have shown high removal efficiency of some specific compounds. Despite the experimental work and the available data from numerous studies, the physical-chemical mechanism of retention and transport of these compounds through RO and NF membranes remains poorly understood, and therefore difficult to predict, impeding certain improvements, e.g., the design of new and more efficient membranes, increase retention of all types of MPs, and optimize operating conditions, etc.

In this project, we develop and increase scientific understanding of MP filtration with NF/RO membranes. Using existing membrane transport models, we will give special attention to the different molecular interactions that might occur in the feed side, on the membrane surface, and inside the membrane. We aim to understand and predict accurately the rejection of MPS in membrane filtration.


Sebastian Castaño Osorio

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