Patent offer: Durable Nanofiltration Membranes based on Epoxide Chemistry

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Patent offer: Durable Nanofiltration Membranes based on Epoxide Chemistry

MTG - KU Leuven


Although membrane separation processes are widely applied in the filtration of mild aqueous fluids, they have not been (widely) used under highly challenging pH or oxidizing conditions, neither for the separation of solutes in organic solvents. Their relatively poor performance and/or stability in these conditions decreases their applicability in more aggressive feeds, despite an enormous potential economical market. For example, chemical and pharmaceutical syntheses or textile dyeing are frequently performed in organic solvents containing products with high added value, like acids and bases or catalysts, which would be recoverable via membrane technology. The recovery of metal salts from acid mine leachates, treatment of harsh waste streams from chemical and pharmaceutical industries and purification of chlorinated water streams in desalination are other examples in which ultra-stable membranes could serve purpose.

Epoxide chemistry is known to be well resistant in several chemical environments and conditions due to the ether network. The Membrane Technology Group led by prof.  Ivo Vankelecom has developed and patented a solution to produce durable nanofiltration membranes based on interfacial polymerization using epoxide polymerisation chemistry. The densely cross-linked membranes show a high retention of rose bengal (>90%, 1017Da) and methyl orange (>70%, 327Da) while maintaining reasonable water permeability (>2  Superior chemical stability was proven by treatments in acid (pH 1) and 500 ppm NaOCl (pH 4) without loss or even improvement of the membrane performance.

This IP (patent WO2018220209) is on offer for valorization. If you would like more information, please contact Bart van Duffel (Innovation mgr. MTG) prof. Ivo Vankelecom.

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