The objectives of SuperClean
The objectives of SuperClean is to construct a demonstrator pre-commercial roll-to-roll equipment for producing superhydrophobic membranes comprising a plasma reactor for nanotexturing and functionalization of membranes followed by plasma deposition in the same reactor or interfaced with a wet deposition roll to roll bath.
The prototype equipment will be able to handle semi-industrial size membranes, namely 50cm to 100cm membrane rolls.
Impart superhydrophobicity on commercial membranes through plasma deposition or by reaction solution containing trichloromethyl silane (TCMS) or a combination of the two technologies.
Membranes should present contact angle higher that 150o in water and contact angle hysteresis of less than 10o and remain stable at least 40 hours under immersion in industrial waste.
Membranes should also exhibit superhydrophobicity for water mixtures of lower surface tension at least down to 55mN/m compared to the 72mN/m of water.
Demonstrate the potential of SuperClean superhydrophobic membranes in improving the performance of commercial membranes in MD for clean water production from industrial waste.
Achieve at least 15% improved clean water flux and at least 25% longer operation with constant flux.
Compare the performance of wet and dry hydrophobization processes for industrial waste treatment.
Install semi-industrial scale equipment in a lab for roll-to-roll process development and in relevant environment for roll-to-roll production tests.
Explore the potential of superhydrophobic membranes and the market available for such pre-commercial equipment.
Create a start-up company or joined venture of start-up and manufacturer for the commercialization of the technology and related equipment.
As described industrial roll-to-roll systems will be designed and constructed between NCSRD and Europlasma for the upscaling of the dry technology, and MPIP and SolSep for the upscaling of the wet chemistry technology.
The systems will be tested in lab enviroment for process development and at the upscaling partners premises who are already providing similar services. These systems will then be used by the forementioned partners and later on by the spin-off company for processing comercial membranes to render them superhydrophobic for customers such as SolarSpring.