Washington Patent of the Month – January 2022

Cation exchange membranes, like silica-based ceramics, can be used for the selective transport of positively charged ions. Membrion, Inc. is using this technology in industrial wastewater treatment. Their solution provides a non-chemical based desalination solution.

Membrion has developed this material for use in their wastewater treatment system. Many industrial wastewater treatment systems have relied on boiling water to remove impurities which requires both excessive amounts of time and energy. Other solutions have implemented polymer membranes. Membrion’s ceramic membrane is flexible and allows purification to occur at a greater range of temperatures and pHs. 

Their design uses a porous support member coated in a silica-based ceramic. The design allows for the specification of structural and chemical attributes. For instance, the pore size and distribution can be controlled to improve performance of the cation exchanging.

Their desalination system uses less energy to treat more water, making it a sustainable alternative. Silica is one of nature’s most abundant natural materials, meaning the production of their ceramic material will also have less impact on the environment. 

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