GROM

(Green RO membranes - made from environmentally friendly raw materials)

Objective

Identify key structural parametres of vital importance for substitution of the existing monomer, MPD, with new monomers that are environmentally acceptable. Investigate and obtain knowledge of reactions between novel monomers and trimesoyl chloride (TMC) in the interfacial polymerization process. Optimize reverse osmosis (RO) membrane performance through lab studies and production process optimization. Commercialize the new RO membranes made from environmentally friendly raw materials for safer production of drinking water, food, dairy and pharmaceutical related products.

Background

Alfa Laval Nakskov A/S has manufactured polyamide (PA) thin film RO membranes for more than 20 years. The active layer of current RO membranes is formed by interfacial polymerization between metaphenylene diamine (MPD) and TMC. However, MPD is very toxic to aquatic life with long lasting effects, and potentially persistent based on the biodegradation criteria, and it is suspected to cause genetic effects. The project is aiming for developing and commercializing the next generation RO membranes that are made from environmentally friendly raw materials to substitute one of the current raw materirals: MPD.

The project

Synthesis of PA outher membrane layer by interfacial polymerization. Screening of commercially available non-toxic amine building blocks. Optimization of reaction conditions (incubation & reaction time, curing temperature & time etc.). Synthesis of novel multifunctional aromatic amine as an alternative to MPD. Investigation of the influence of additives on membrane performance. Characterization by appropriate means like FTIR, TGA & contact angle goniometry

The project is funded by the Danish National Advanced Technology Foundation. Participating in the project are DTU-Chemical Engineering (Professor Søren Hvilsted), Alfa Laval Nakskov A/S, University of Southern Denmark (SDU).

The project will be running from 2014-2017