Toray creates energy-effective RO membrane

Toray Industries says its new seawater desalinating reverse osmosis (RO) membrane produces 70% more clean drinking water than other similar products, making it a highly energy-effective membrane.

Technological advances with RO membrane-based water treatment have lowered water production costs and helped solve water issues around the globe. However, the issue with conventional RO membranes is that they pose a tradeoff, with water quality declining as the water production rate rises. The new advanced membrane from Toray allows higher throughput water production without consuming more energy.  

As part of its research and development programme, the company has undertaken ultrafine-structural analysis of RO membranes with nanometer-sized separation functional layers. The company has now identified the relationships between protuberance structures and water production rate and between pore structures and water quality.

This has resulted in the development of a new precision interfacial polymerization technology for forming a separation functional layer, simultaneously controlling the surface area and thickness of the protuberance structure and pore diameter. This has made it possible to selectively and efficiently produce pure water from seawater, thus maintaining quality while boosting water production.