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Treatment to improve the properties of recycled membranes

Due to the increasing number of yearly discarded Reverse Osmosis (RO) modules, intensive research is being conducted in developing suitable membrane recycling techniques. Among other alternatives, the use discarded RO membranes as mechanical support for anion exchange membrane (AEM) preparation has been recently proposed for the first time.

A new study of the Membrane Technology research group in IMDEA Water, proposes a green and low cost activation treatment for the recycled AEMs aiming to increase their efficiency in electrodialysis. The study entitled “Influence of acid/base activation treatment in the performance of recycled electromembrane for fresh water production by electrodialysis” has been published in Chemosphere and it is supported by the projects INREMEM and INREMEM 2.0. (http://inremem.simplesite.com/).

By this method, the membrane electrical resistance can be reduced in a 37% without compromising the permselectivity. The activated membranes showed an increased flux of fresh water with lower energy consumption in brackish water desalination by electrodialysis. In this way, the methodology presented in this paper could enable the implementation of such recycled membranes in sustainable processes based on ion membrane separation in the next future.

The article is available online in: https://authors.elsevier.com/a/1aWM%7EAOM9t41y

Reference: Lejarazu-Larrañaga, A., Molina, S., Ortiz, J.M., Riccardelli, G., García-Calvo, E., Influence of acid/base activation treatment in the performance of recycled electromembrane for fresh water production by electrodialysis, Chemosphere (2020), doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2020.126027