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Development of ultrafiltration modules of hollow fiber mixed matrix membranes, polyethersulfone and inorganic nanoparticles, for water and wastewater treatment

Grant number: 20/11059-0
Support type:Research Grants - Research Partnership for Technological Innovation - PITE
Duration: August 01, 2021 - July 31, 2023
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Sanitary Engineering - Water Supply and Wastewater Treatment
Cooperation agreement: SABESP
Principal researcher:José Carlos Mierzwa
Grantee:José Carlos Mierzwa
Home Institution: Escola Politécnica (EP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
City: São Paulo
Pesquisadores principais:
Eduardo Lucas Subtil
Assoc. researchers:Augusto Teruo Morita ; Daiana Kotra Deda Nogueira ; Devendra Prakash Saroj ; Pierre Le-Clech


Ultrafiltration membranes have been extensively used for water and wastewater treatment around the world to address the increasing demand and scarcity problems by using alternative water sources such as domestic wastewater. However, membrane fouling still remains as an important issue for obtaining systems' maximum performance. One of the options for coping with this problem is to increase membranes' hydrophilicity, what can be performed by the use of hydrophilic nanomaterial in the membrane polymeric matrix. This has already been done by many researchers, but the available data about the performance of the produced mixed matrix membranes are mostly related to lab scale evaluation and short period evaluation tests. There is a lack of long-term evaluation performance tests, which are not prioritized by the researchers. By these reasons, this project will focus on the development of mixed matrix hollow fiber ultrafiltration membranes using inorganic nanoparticles and pore formers additives, using the phase inversion process. The produced membranes will have its morphology and performance evaluated using the newest characterization methods available. In addition, fouling tests will be performed using model solutions in a cross-flow test cell, in order to understand the associated fouling mechanism. The membrane with the best performance will be used for assembling hollow-fiber modules to perform long-term evaluation tests for natural water and wastewater treatment. For this purpose, two pilot plants will be assembled with different modules prototypes, a pressurized one for natural water treatment and a submerged one for wastewater treatment. With this project it is expected the development of a hollow fiber mixed matrix membrane with higher separation capacity and flow, and reduced fouling potential, making the membrane separation technology more competitive and attractive for commercial applications. It is also expected that the results of the proposed project will increase the potential for producing membranes modules by Brazilian companies. (AU)

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