Finnish group claims lower cost of nano membranes

A technology to manufacture nanoporous membranes at “significantly lower” production costs was announced at the end of March 2013 by the Department of Energy & Materials Science at Arcada University of Applied Sciences in Helsinki, Finland.

The Arcada research group has used a variation of the track etch method which in the past has given greater control over the pore sizes of membranes.

‟Our starting point in the development of new manufacturing technology for nanoporous membranes has been to significantly reduce production costs,” says head of department Dr Mikael Paronen. “Our research group has been exceptionally open to exploring alternative manufacturing methods, and in this context we have benefited from combining our experiences and the scientific literature.”

Arcada’s newly developed technology permits production of membranes that can filter substances from water based on their size or chemical properties. It is partly based on the track etch principle, but a minor modification has transformed production economics to make it cost-effective.

Arcada says that he new production technology enables significant reductions in membrane prices and subsequently broadening future applications of membrane technologies. The largest volumes will most likely be seen in clean water production and in industrial process water treatment, where, for example, the aim is to separate out valuable or hazardous substances.