About the event
Professor Indranil Chowdhury, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Washington State University
Providing an adequate supply of potable water is one of the grand challenges in the current century due to climate change, population and industrial growth. Sustainable, and energy efficient water treatment technologies are needed to combat current and future global challenges in water sustainability. Among these nanomaterials two-dimensional (2D) nanostructures have emerged with numerous and unprecedented properties that can make state-of-the-art membranes resistant to fouling while reducing membrane thickness. The overall objective of our research is to design novel hybrid membranes based on emerging two-dimensional nanostructures that will provide not only enhanced desalination but also enhanced water flux and antifouling properties. For this study, we investigated the antifouling and desalination properties of several 2D nanomaterials including molybdenum disulfide (MoS2), graphene oxide (GO), reduced graphene oxide (rGO). Our findings indicate that 2D nanomaterial-functionalized membranes possess superior antifouling performance over commercially available desalination membranes. From our study, it was found that MoS2 performs significantly better than GO and rGO under different fouling conditions due to the smooth surface and absence of functional groups on MoS2. Moreover, under the severe fouling conditions encountered in wastewater, MoS2-functionalized membranes can outperform graphene oxide (GO) and reduced graphene oxide (rGO) modified membranes. Results from desalination studies indicate that graphene provides high salt rejection while MoS2 provides superior antifouling and water flux. Furthermore, MoS2 sandwiched between GO multilayer in the hybrid membranes offered frictionless water flow due to the smooth and rigid structure of MoS2, while the satisfied salt rejection performance was attributed to GO. Overall, 2D nanomaterial-based hybrid membranes showed great potential for water filtration.