Foundry users, working with staff, developed a new type of membrane embedded with nanoparticles that can precisely and selectively remove toxic metals during desalination.
Significance and Impact
The new membrane removes nearly 100% of toxic metals, can be tuned to capture precious metals, and can easily be added to current membrane-based electrodialysis desalination processes. It could enable simultaneous remediation and resource recovery.
- The researchers embedded polymer membranes with porous aromatic frameworks (PAFs) that can be tuned to absorb specific metal ions.
- The membrane can incorporate a single type of tuned nanoparticle, if the metal is to be recovered, or several different types if multiple contaminants need to be removed in one step.
- The team developed an electrodialysis system and demonstrated that the membranes are highly effective when incorporated into membrane-based electrodialysis as well as in diffusion dialysis.