Fabrication of a novel Water filtration membrane based on Nano Perovskite for abatement of contaminants of emerging concerns
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Descrizione del progetto
Access to clean water is a basic human need mentioned in the UN world goals.
However, the growing population and its use of environmentally persistent chemicals is depleting the available water resources and there is a rising demand for exploring integrated water use and water treatment processes. In addition to the standard contaminants present in water, a rising threat is represented by Contaminants of Emerging Concern (CECs), i.e., a wide class of non-naturally occurring chemicals, increasingly detected in treated and freshwaters because of their extensive use, persistence in traditional water purification systems , not yet subjected to a proper regulation and whose negative effects on environment and human health are not yet fully assessed.
Examples are pharmaceuticals, pesticides and their metabolites. One of the most promising process to remove these dangerous species is the mineralization, achieved when reactive species, such as OH or O radicals attack the molecular structure of the contaminant, breaking bonds and transforming the dangerous compound into CO2 and H2O.
The only commercially available example of such a process is ozonation which is not without safety hazards.
Given these premises, the production of a device able to separate and decompose the CECs present in water trough moderate heating deserves a high consideration.
NanoPerWater project offers a viable solution to solve the issue of the CECs abatement for the human and environmental safety, providing a better water quality.
This will benefit people at large providing a measurable positive impact on society and health.
The project aims at developing, manufacturing and commercializing an innovative multifunctional antifouling and antibacterial membrane for water micro-filtration realising the thermocatalytic abatement of Contaminants of Emerging Concern (CECs) in drinking water.
The Silicon Carbide (SiC) water membranes will be coated with perovskite nanoparticles (NPs) with a specific chemical composition (Sr0.86Ce0.14FeO3-x (SF)).
SF has thermocatalytic properties, therefore the new membranes further to filtering water will be provided with an additional functionality: they will be able to degrade CECs with moderate heating of the filtration stack.
In addition, generation of reactive oxygen species by SF, will diminish deposition of non-toxic organic matter on the membrane surface, thus mitigating membrane fouling.
The SiC coating process with perovskite nanoparticles will be realised through a sonochemical method that will produce a stable coating with durable functionality without modifying the perovskite reactivity.
The specifically devised coating will preserve the SiC monolith porosity and will provide a multifunctional membrane for yielding a safer water with improved quality.
Annexes The SF synthesis unit will be manufactured by the membranes manufacturer and coordinator of the project (LQT), which will be able to integrate in its new membranes production line both the nanopowder synthesis unit and the sonochemical coating unit, which will be provided by the sonochemical unit manufacturer (UTECH).
The unit design is based on a custom-built lab-scale unit already in operation that allowed to successfully coat several solid-state substrates by metal oxides nanoparticles enhancing the coating stability and avoiding the nanoparticle leaching.
The innovative coating unit will be realized thanks to the direct effort of UTECH contributing with the expertise in manufacturing industrial scale ultrasound machines and BRD responsible for the process optimisation with the support of world leading experts in sonochemistry from the subcontractor BIU.
Product functionality and process sustainability will be assessed in a dedicated work package.
The product functionalities will be tested at lab scale and in relevant operating environments through the setting up of beta test product validation at end-user’s (LQT identified customers).
The project will include the development of the business and commercialization plans of the multifunctional membranes for their industrial and commercial exploitation.
The business-oriented project aims at developing the Value Chain of the innovative thermocatalytic membranes for obtaining safe drinking water through an active filtration process.
The Business plan will also include the exploitation of the value generated by the development of the dedicated industrial sonochemical coating unit that will identify a new line of products for UTECH.
The successful project accomplishment will have a direct economic impact both in the water filtration membrane and indirect impact on the sonochemical unit manufacturing sector.
The project will have also direct and indirect social impacts and impacts on the environment deriving from the production of safer and higher quality water, as the abatement of the addressed contaminants will preserve the environment and people health against the risks bound to the presence of Contaminants of Emerging Concern in water.