NX Filtration’s membrane specialist Dennis Reurink has successfully defended his PhD thesis

9 July 2020

NX Filtration’s membrane specialist Dennis Reurink has successfully defended his PhD thesis

Enhanced Polyelectrolyte Multilayers for Highly Selective Membranes: from densification to Aquaporin water channels

Growing concentrations of micropollutants in our surface and our drinking water sources lead to increased worries about their effects on human health and the environment. Wastewater from hospitals, industry, and domestic households contains a large variation of small and difficult-to-remove micropollutants.

Traditional wastewater treatment based on flotation, clarification, and (an)aerobic treatment only removes a small amount of these micropollutants from waste streams. The purified water, still containing micropollutants, is discharged in rivers and other drinking water resources.

To prevent any micropollutants from ending up in our drinking water, membrane filtration of ground and surface water can be a solution to provide clean and safe drinking water. Alternatively, membranes could be used in wastewater treatment to prevent micropollutants from being released into the environment at all.

Dennis Reurink conducted his PhD at the Membrane Science & Technology Group, MESA+ Institute for Nanotechnology at the University of Twente. His research has given more insight in how to densify the selective layers and is opening the route towards higher selectivity to also remove salts, e.g. by applying a single final layer of Nafion on polyelectrolyte multilayer membranes. This combines the traditional characteristics of physical stability and high permeability and selectivity with excellent performance in rejecting difficult-to-remove micropollutants that have low molecular weight (200−650 Da) and different charges. This PhD research was made possible by Aquaporin A/S and the TKI HTSM through the University of Twente Impuls program.

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Erik Roesink
Founder and CTO