Case 13474

Liquid Filtration Using Pressure Difference Across a Hydrophobic Membrane

Keywords:

Liquid filtration, Vapor phase transport, Hydrophobic membranes, desalination

Applications:

Water desalination and purification

Problem:
  • High energy requirements, high cost, fouling issues, pre-treatment requirements, and the low flux of current water treatment technologies

Technology:

The device for filtering liquid includes a feed chamber, a permeate chamber, and a porous membrane that is at least partially hydrophobic and has one or more pores configured to be permeable to vapor. A pressure of a liquid substance in the feed chamber is increased such that vapor of the liquid substance is transported from the feed chamber to the permeate chamber. In particular, the pressure difference produces a difference in vapor pressure across a hydrophobic membrane to filter the liquid as desired. A second porous membrane may be included to lower the flow resistance of the vapor.

Advantages:
  • High filtering flux
  • Lower viscous loss
  • High selectivity
  • Flexibility in material of manufacture
  • Can leverage existing reverse osmosis infrastructure

Inventors:
  • Professor Rohit N. Karnik (Department of Mechanical Engineering, MIT)
  • Jongho Lee (Department of Mechanical Engineering, MIT)

Intellectual Property:

US Patent and PCT filed on January 11, 2010

Publications:

N/A

Last revised:November 24, 2010

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