Desalination Breakthrough Maximizes Flow for Cheaper Water Filtration

Biological membranes let the right stuff into cells while keeping the wrong stuff out. And, as researchers noted in a paper just published by the journal Science, they are remarkable and ideal for their job. But they’re not necessarily ideal for high-volume, industrial jobs such as pushing saltwater through a membrane to remove salt and make fresh water for drinking, irrigating crops, watering livestock or creating energy. Can we learn from those high-performing biological membranes? Can we apply nature’s homogenous design strategies to manufactured, polymer membranes? Can we quantify what makes some of those industrial membranes perform better than others? Researchers from Iowa State University, Penn State University, the University of Texas at Austin, DuPont Water Solutions and Dow Chemical Co. — led by Enrique Gomez of Penn State and…
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