TODAY: EMS webinar, Davide Mattia, Wednesday, September 7th, 2022, 4:00 PM Central European Time

Title: 3D printed UF and NF composite membranes

Davide Mattia, Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Bath, UK,,

Date and time: Wednesday, September 7th, 2022, 4:00 PM Central European Time
Webinar Link:

Fouling presents the largest challenge towards more widespread use of membranes in liquid separations. Patterning of membrane surfaces is a promising chemical-free approach to promote fluid shear stress and create localised turbulence near the membrane surface, leading to reduced or slower fouling build-up. Current patterning methods suffer from insufficient fidelity and flexibility, while at the same time negatively affecting the performance and durability of the membranes. 3D printing can overcome these challenges by enabling the fabrication of complex/irregular patterns. [1]
In this seminar, I will present our work on the development of 3D printed ultrafiltration and nanofiltration membranes to minimise fouling build-up, using a combination of computational modelling and 3D printing: First, CFD was used to understand the fluid mechanics of non-flat membrane surfaces and design 3D printable geometries. Second, flat and double sinusoidal (wavy) structured supports were printed using an industrial Multi-jet 3D printer. UF polyethersulfone (PES) and NF polydopamine‐coated polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF/PDA) selective layers were subsequently deposited onto the 3D printed supports by vacuum filtration.
Bovine serum albumin (BSA) filtration tests on UF PES composite membranes revealed that in comparison to the flat composite membrane, the wavy composite membrane showed superior performance in terms of pure water permeance (PWP) (10% higher) and permeance recovery ratio (87% versus 53%) after the first filtration cycle at Re = 1000. Prolonged testing showed that the wavy membrane could retain approximately 87% of its initial PWP after 10 complete filtration cycles.[2] This impressive fouling-resistant behaviour is attributed to the localised fluid turbulence induced by the 3D printed wavy structure since the maximum surface shear stress for the wavy pattern was significantly higher than the one for the flat one. [3]
Dye rejection tests on NF PVDF/PDA membranes showed that the wavy pattern significantly reduced concentration polarisation, compared to flat membranes, with a nearly tripling of the mass transfer coefficient and a 57% decline of the CP factor. CFD showed that these improvements were due to improved hydrodynamics, with the maximum surface shear stress induced by the wavy structure an order of magnitude higher than that of the flat membranes. [4]

[1] Low, Z.-X., et al., Journal of Membrane Science 2017, 523, 596-613.
[2] Mazinani, S., et al., ACS Appl Mater Interf 2019, 11 (29), 26373–26383.
[3] Al-Shimmery, A., et al., Journal of Membrane Science 2019, 574, 76-85.
[4] Mazinani, S., et al., Journal of Membrane Science 2022, 644, 120137.


Short Bio: Davide Mattia, FIChemE, CEng, is Professor of Chemical Engineering and Deputy Dean in the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Bath. He earned a MEng in Materials Engineering in 2002 from the University ‘Federico II, Napoli, Italy, and a PhD in Materials Engineering from Drexel University, Philadelphia, USA, in 2007. He joined Bath in 2008 as a Lecturer and was promoted to a full professor in 2016. His current research focuses on using membranes to address environmental challenges, including the sustainable manufacturing of materials and the removal of organic micropollutants from water. He is a past Royal Academy of Engineering Research Fellow and currently holds an EPSRC Established Career Fellowship in Water Engineering. He is PI on the £9M EPSRC Programme Grant SynHiSel on highly selective membranes.