Testing of synthetic biological membranes for forward osmosis applications
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Commercially available Forward Osmosis membranes have been extensively tested for human space flight wastewater treatment. Despite the improvements achieved in the last decades, there is still a challenge to produce reliable membranes with anti-fouling properties, chemical resistance, and high flux and selectivity. Synthetic biological membranes that mimic the ones present in nature, which underwent millions of years of evolution, represent a potential solution for further development and progress in membrane technology. zNANO manufactures proprietary Biomimetic Forward Osmosis Membranes based on a polymeric support filter coated with surfactant multilayers. These membranes have been engineered to investigate how different manufacturing processes impact the performance and structure of the membrane. Initial results of the first generation prototype membranes tests reveal a high scatter in flux rates, due to the current testing apparatus set up. The testing apparatus has been upgraded to improve data collection, reduce errors, and to allow higher control of the testing process.