The Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) is part of a consortium that aims to develop a low cost self-cleaning coating technology based on functionalised graphene, which once applied to industrial membranes increases the resistance to fouling or enhances ion removal.
The Innovate UK funded project known as Smart Filter, is led by Haydale and includes CPI, G2O Water Technologies Ltd. and Sellafield Ltd.
Membrane filters can be applied to a variety of industrial liquid and gas separation applications such as water/oil separation during oil drilling, water desalination and industrial waste water treatment. A major operational issue with filter membranes is their tendency to foul with use over time, which results in lowering throughput, increasing energy consumption and the need for costly maintenance.
The aim of the Smart Filter project is to develop a low cost self-cleaning coating technology based on functionalised graphene, which once applied to industrial membranes increases their resistance to fouling and enhances ion removal. The technology has already been demonstrated successfully in lab-scale tests.
Led by Haydale Limited, the project will translate the existing lab-scale work into a working manufacturing process which can be scaled-up to enhance the performance of existing filter membranes. The coating will be formulated and validated by the consortium in nuclear waste water separation applications. Applicability into other areas will be investigated to ensure the resulting smart product can be taken to market and be readily applied to improve the performance of a broad range of industrial processes.
CPI Project Manager Joanna Waterton said “This project has the potential to benefit end-users from a range of industrial sectors who have challenges, particularly in the treatment of waste effluent. Our challenge at CPI will be to optimise and scale up the graphene coating process with a view to creating a commercially viable process for suppliers.”
Speaking on behalf of lead partner Haydale, Ray Gibbs, CEO said “We are extremely pleased to be working with CPI on this project, which is a prime example of how, supported by Government funding, research departments and industry can work together to develop commercial products that offer real environmental benefits to the wider community.”