To overcome water shortages despite its lack of natural water resources, Singapore has been investing in research and technology to ensure a stable, sustainable water supply capable of catering to the country’s continued growth. This project aims at addressing this significant national problem by developing the next generation of water processing membranes based on nanomaterials with engineering capabilities to process water streams to potable water and delivering high flux. The newly available nanomaterials and nanotechnology tools can enable the synthesis of novel polymers and ceramics, as well as polymer–inorganic composites to manufacture higher performance membranes with increased permeability, selectivity, and resistance to fouling.

Nano-sized oxide nanostructures have recently received increasing attention in view of their environmental application due to their excellent catalysis, and adsorption properties. Previous studies have shown that various pollutants including humic acid, arsenic, heavy metals, and organic compounds could be removed effectively by oxides semiconductor nanostructures. However, the separation of the nano-sized materials is still very difficult from engineering point of view. We propose to use nanostructures to form a nonwoven structured membrane. This method also opens up a multifunctional membrane structure by combining the functionalities in removing emerging traces contaminants, heavy metals and humic acid with high efficiency. The proposed project focuses on the production of drinking water with higher quality at lower cost together with waste minimization in Singapore and all over the world.

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