Efficient membrane desalination system for the treatment of water at Arak University
Department of Chemical Engineering of Arak University succeeded in designing a protein membrane to desalinate seawater. In this regard, Dr. Reza Davarnejad said: "Molecular dynamics simulation is important in the design of protein membranes." Applying this method can trace the dynamics of nanoparticles and save the exorbitant costs of designing and fabricating membranes on a lab scale.” He also explained how to desalinate seawater by this membrane and stated: “Although desalination of seawater through applying this method requires pre-treatment stage, its high permeability in the long run is a good answer to the lack of water in the country.” Among the methods of improving the efficiency of sweetening processes, the use of membranes based on biological tissues, especially aquaporin channels, seems very interesting given the fact that water permeability up to twice as high as conventional membranes.
According to Dr. Davarnejad, the results showed that stretching had a significant effect on water permeability through protein channels, meaning that permeability was highly reduced, while environmental pressure had little effect on water permeability. However, with the presence of compressive residual stresses during membrane fabrication, membrane strength can be expected in high-pressure desalination operations. These membranes have low operating energy but require a high investment bed. He added: "Currently, few people in the world have commercialized these membranes and its production for domestic water treatment and food industry has begun. Therefore, by researching and studying in this field to manufacture these membranes on a large and industrial scale, there is the ability to compete with foreign competitors.”
Regarding the significance of this research project in saving the environment, Dr. Davarnejad mentioned: "Considering the current situation of energy consumption in desalination processes and due to pollutants and global warming, the optimization and technological upgrade of these processes helps environmental protection."