Special ChBE Seminar: Lloyd M. Robeson
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
3:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m.
Pepco Room, 1105 Kim Engineering Building
Professor Ray Adomaitis
Membrane Purification of Water: Fundamentals and Practice
Dr. Lloyd M. Robeson
Member, National Academy of Engineering
Member, Clark School Innovation Hall of Fame
Adjunct Professor, Lehigh University
Potable water availability has been noted to be one of the key concerns of the 21st century. Polymeric membrane purification of water (reverse osmosis, nano-, ultra- and microfiltration, electrodialysis) has emerged as a primary method for recovery of purified water streams from brackish water, seawater, municipal and industrial waste water as well as utility in the food processing industry and biomedical applications. Desalination of brackish and sea water sources, once dominated by distillation, involves reverse osmosis as the primary process chosen for new installations. This is even true in areas of the world where waste energy or energy costs are very low cost (such as in the Middle East). If there is a dominant technology involving the future for clean water availability, it is clearly membrane technology. This tutorial lecture will detail the technology, applications, and fundamentals of water transport. A specific problem with wastewater recovery is concentration polarization (membrane fouling). The nature of concentration polarization and approaches to reduce this problem will be noted. The concept of forward osmosis to generate potable water from contaminated sources including seawater as well as generate electrical power will also be discussed. A primary topic will be the membrane fabrication technology employed for the various membrane processes utilized for water purification.