Toray Industries has developed a nanofiltration membrane which, it says, triples the permeation performance of conventional models while enhancing ion and organic compound separation from aqueous solutions. 

Nanofiltration selectively separates ions and compounds and is used to remove organic solvents and agrochemicals from groundwater and rivers. Nanofiltration membranes can also be used in the food and biotech fields.

Toray’s product aims to meet the increasing demand for better selectivity and permeation as the use of water treatment membranes expands.  The challenge is to balance selective separation and permeation and so Toray’s research explored a membrane mechanism that would help improve permeation. This resulted in a porous and protuberant structure that expanded the surface area, delivering high levels of selective separation and tripling water permeability.

The membrane is part of Toray’s drive for sustainability and access for all to clean air and water. The company will accelerate development of the new membrane and once it is commercially available, water treatment facilities installing it in developing nations will be able to optimally remove heavy metals, agrochemicals and other toxic substances from raw water.