The Centre of Process Innovation (CPI) works to develop a graphene-based self-cleaning membrane filter with the potential to revolutionize liquid filtration across the globe, as part of a UK based collaboration that also includes G2O Water International (G2O), Haydale and Sellafield Ltd. CPI ‘s role in the project is to develop, characterize and scale-up the graphene based materials alongside applying the graphene coating onto the membrane.
The two year project aims to develop a low cost self-cleaning coating technology based on functionalized graphene, which should make the membranes highly resistant to fouling (the process in which a solution or particle is deposited on a membrane surface or in membrane pores such so that the membrane's performance is degraded). The coating will be formulated and validated by the consortium for deployment in a number of different applications, including desalination, oil and water separation and also nuclear waste water treatment.
The filter will provide excellent recovery capability and remove the need for regular cleaning, thus enabling increases in productivity and operating lifetimes alongside reductions in costs and energy waste. The smart filter technology has already been demonstrated successfully by G2O in lab-scale tests and the collaboration will seek to translate the lab-scale work into a working manufacturing process at pilot production scale.