Reduced Biofouling in Water Treatment Membrane Systems (2015-021)

Market Overview:

This approach reduces biofouling by using X-ray irradiation and ultraviolet-emitting materials to reduce bacterial growth and biofilms. Biofouling is a critical issue in membrane water and waste water treatment as it greatly compromises the efficiency of the treatment processes. It is difficult to control and results in increased operational costs and poor performance. Current anti-biofouling techniques involve chemical cleaning steps or antimicrobial surfaces which have proven inadequate over long-term operation for many feed waters. In contrast, Clemson University researchers have developed an anti-biofouling approach that can inactivate bacteria without introducing chemicals into the feed water and without pausing operation of the membrane treatment process. This is accomplished by incorporating radioluminescent materials onto the module feed spacers and applying an external X-ray source to produce germicidal UVC within the membrane element.

 

Application                                                                Stage of Development

Reverse osmosis; water purification                           Preliminary Prototype

 

Advantages

• Reduces biofouling in water treatment/membrane water systems, increasing efficiency and decreasing operation costs caused by degradation

• Uses ultraviolet radiation inside membrane modules, presenting a unique and effective approach to eliminating bacteria

• Allows membrane to operate at maximum water fluxes with less pressure demand, extending membrane lifetime

 

Technical Summary

Germicidal ultraviolet radiation is an effective, broad spectrum biocide. By controlling the x-ray dose rate, the biocidal action of the system may be tuned to meet changing conditions. The phosphors in this technology are designed to emit ultraviolet radiation when stimulated by hard x-rays within a certain range. When an external x-ray source is applied, they penetrate the module and are absorbed by the phosphors, producing ultraviolet radiation and eliminating bacteria within the system. This is the first method to achieve production of germicidal radiation within the interior of a spiral-wound membrane module.

 

View printable PDF version of this technology

____________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Inventors:                        Ezra Cates

 

Patent Type:                    Utility

 

Serial Number:              14/882,773

 

CURF Reference:          2015-021

Patent Information:
Category(s):
Biotechnology
For Information, Contact:
Andrew Bluvas
Technology Commercialization Officer
Clemson University Research Foundation
bluvasa@clemson.edu
Inventors:
Ezra Cates
Keywords:
© 2018. All Rights Reserved. Powered by Inteum