Development of a Novel Membrane Process for the Immediate Production of Drinking Water from Varying Quality Aqueous Sources


ABSTRACT Supply of safe drinking water following disasters is essential for life support of the affected population. Recently, hurricane Katrina left New Orleans Louisiana, Biloxi Mississippi and several other Gulf Coast Cities without drinking water. There is a need to develop methods that can be easily mobilized and will consistently produce safe and aesthetically acceptable drinking water. Nanoparticles have been demonstrated to have remarkable adsorptive and catalytic properties. Enhancement in their reactivity can be attributed to very high surface areas, a unique morphology (many comer and edge sites), large porosities, and small crystallite sizes. Reactive naooparticles of metal oxides such as titania, zinc oxide and '- ceria exhibit remarkable abilities to reduce threats of highly toxic substances in water (Chjog, P., et al., 1999, Li, X.Z.,, 2000). They are effective at neutralizing a wide range of acids and toxic industrial chemicals with the added capability to mitigate chemical warfare agents. These materials may offer a substantial reactivity and capacity that is advantageous over competitive technologies, such as activated carbons. Depending on the need, the particles can be utilized in a dry powder, granular, slurry form, as well as incorporated within the membranes, which will result in an enhanced membrane surface that kills microorganism, chemically oxidizes organics and mitigates organic and biofouling on the membrane surface. Anatase Ti0 ₂ has both bactericidal and detoxifying (endotxin generated by E.Coli) capabilities. (Kikuchi, K.,, 1998). The coated film had different surface characteristic relative to the uncoated films in that the coated film was more hydrophilic, smoother and had a more neutral (less negative surface charge than the uncoated film. ii

The solvent (water) mass transfer characteristics of the film were increased by TiO2 coating; however there was no significant differences in solute mass transfer between the TiO2 coated and·uncoated films as determined by mass transfer coefficients that were determined from flat sheet testing in a DI water and a surface water matrix. These results indicate that TiO2 nanoparticle coating of membranes does beneficially affect solute mass transfer diffusion controlled membrane processes by lower the energy required, and therefore the cost of operation of diffusion controlled membrane processes. Hence, more research is warranted for the determination of the beneficial effect of the coating of TiO2 nanoparticles on membrane films. Although the PEPA cell density measurements in the distilled water and surface water matrixes were somewhat contradictory, the HPC biofilm data decisively indicated that the TiO2 coating on the BW30LE films reduced biofilm growth, which indicates the TiO2 nanoparticles would reduce biofilm fouling in a membrane element containing BW30LE films.


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Thesis Completion





Taylor, James


Bachelor of Science (B.S.)


College of Engineering and Computer Science

Degree Program

Environmental Engineering


Dissertations, Academic -- Engineering; Engineering -- Dissertations, Academic; Drinking water -- Purification; Membranes (Technology)







Access Status

Open Access

Length of Campus-only Access


Document Type

Honors in the Major Thesis

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