Tech Offers

Chemical-free Wastewater Treatment using HAOPs

Membrane-based separation technology has been widely used for various water treatments. However, because of the nature of filtration, contaminants that are removed by the membrane tend to deposit on the membrane surface, resulting in pore blocking and permeate flux reduction. This phenomenon, referred to as membrane fouling, occurs in almost all membrane processes. Various strategies have been developed to tackle the issue, including pretreatment of raw source waters by coagulation. Compared with conventional adsorbents and coagulants, heated aluminum oxide particles (HAOPs) have been found to be more effective in organic matter removal for various source waters including surface water, seawater and effluents from membrane bioreactor (MBR). As a result, raw water pretreatment using HAOPs can mitigate organic fouling in subsequent membrane processes significantly. Furthermore, the sludge generated during the pre-treatment using HAOPs is far easier to dewater than that generated using conventional coagulants, saving the costs both in the dewatering step and the subsequent sludge transport and disposal steps. Finally, HAOPs-based treatment is much more robust and reliable than the conventional coagulation-based processes under conditions of fluctuating influent composition.The technology owner is interested in seeking technology licensing collaborator or manufacturing partner. 

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Hydrogen-on-Demand (HOD) System for Fuel Cell Portable Power Applications

The lack of hydrogen infrastructure has been the major barrier to fuel cell commercialisation, especially for portable applications. Some companies offer hydrogen solutions based on liquid sodium borohydride. These commercial solutions, however, have some drawbacks. Sodium borohydride solution faces problems, such as, precious catalyst with short lifespan, leakage, orientation issues, complex maintenance and impurities in the hydrogen generated. The impurities in hydrogen would accumulate in the anode chamber of a polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) and deactivate the electro-catalysis of hydrogen oxidation reactions, resulting in system breakdown. The limitations of these commercial products highlighted the need for a hydrogen-on-demand system that satisfies the U.S department of energy's(DOE)standards in terms of system weight, volume, cost and efficiency. The hydrogen-on-demand (HOD) system developed by the technology provider, has the attributes of ease of control, good handling safety, full hydrolysis of NaBH4, low cost catalyst with durable lifespan and high energy density. The HOD system could possibly unify the PEMFC applications by offering common hydrogen platform, and thereby increasing the customers��� flexibility in choosing different products without getting tied to proprietary hydrogen solution. This would help to penetrate and grow the consumer electronics and lifestyle market that is currently dominated by batteries.

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High Performance Membranes for Energy Harvesting by Pressure Retarded Osmosis

Pressure retarded osmosis (PRO) is a process where water flows naturally from a low salinity stream (feed water) at an ambient pressure across a semi-permeable membrane to a pressurized high salinity stream (draw solution). This process is driven by the osmotic pressure difference across the membrane. The increased volume of pressurized solution can be utilized to drive a turbine for power generation. As such, PRO process is considered as a promising approach to harvest salinity gradient energy.In this invention, PRO composite hollow fiber membranes with an ultra-thin RO-like skin layer on the inner surface of a UF hollow fiber substrate have been successfully developed using a two-step preparation. The advantage of this approach is that it allows the use of different materials and different methods for the preparation of the skin and the hollow fiber substrate separately. Pilot-scale PRO modules (2-inch) have been fabricated and operated in a long run of 6 months for validation test.The technology owner is interested in seeking technology licensing collaborator or manufacturing partner. 

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High Flux Aquaporin Biomimetic Membranes for Desalination

Reverse osmosis (RO) membranes are widely applied for wastewater reclamation and seawater desalination field. However, the energy consumption of this technology is still one of the main concerns. An ultra-permeable membrane, aquaporin biomimetic membrane (ABM) has attracted considerable interest over the past decade.The ABM is fabricated by incorporating aquaporins (AQPs) into RO membranes. AQPs are biological proteins that form selective natural water channels. They have received increasing attention because of their high water permeability (each water channel can pass ~10^9 water molecules per second) and superior selectivity, i.e. the water channel only allows water passage while fully rejecting solutes. Compared to the conventional RO membranes, the ABM exhibits improved water permeability and salt rejection, and has great potential to reduce energy consumption for wastewater reclamation and brackish water/seawater desalination.The technology owner is interested in seeking technology licensing collaborator or manufacturing partner. 

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Hybrid NF-MBR & RO System for High Water Recovery

Reclaimed water is a critical source of water in Singapore and globally. Common practical limit of existing technology based on microfiltration/ultrafiltration-membrane bioreactor (MF/UF-MBR) + reverse osmosis (RO) for water reclamation is 75-85% recovery due to RO membrane fouling. A hybrid system consists of a high retention nanofiltration-membrane bioreactor (NF-MBR) + RO is developed to achieve more than 90% of water recovery at 10 L/m2.h flux rate. NF-MBR produces superior quality effluent because NF membrane can retain low molecular weight organics and scale forming divalent ions. Thus, membrane fouling in downstream RO process can be alleviated significantly, which allows higher recovery. In addition, the inherent advantages of lower fouling potential of RO feed water include: (i) reduced chemical usage and energy consumption associated with RO membrane fouling, (ii) extend the RO membrane lifespan, and (iii) reduced water production cost.The technology owner is interested in seeking technology licensing collaborator or manufacturing partner. 

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Reinforced Low Energy Membrane and Module for Pressure Driven Water Purification Processes

This technology relates to a reinvention of the structure of spiral wound membrane module to increase productivity and to simplify the membrane fabrication process. Despite undergoing a long history of development, the structure of the spiral wound membrane modules remained the same. Each module is made up of several leaf sets, with each leaf set consisting of feed spacers, flat sheet membranes and a permeate carrier wrapped around the permeate collecting tube.The technology here involves combining the 3 layers in a leaf set into 2 layers on an industrial-scale casting line such that more membrane can fit into a standard specific volume. By combining the permeate carrier and the membrane into a single sheet, we were able to eliminate the need for the typical non-woven backing for the membrane. As such, the leaf set thickness can be significantly reduced by approximately 10-20%, and hence the theoretical surface area and productivity of the membrane modules can be increased by 30-50%.The material cost can potentially be reduced by 10-20% and the internal ion concentration polarization (ICP) is expected to be reduced due to less bulky structure. This design also lessen the work required to roll an element due to less sheets per leaf-set. The technology provider is currently seeking joint-venture partners for technology evaluation licensing with research collaboration agreement (RCA) to scale-up and commercialize the technology.

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