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November 06, 2006

Desalinization four times better with new membrane with nanoscale structure

Researchers at the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science today announced they have developed a new reverse osmosis (RO) membrane that promises to reduce the cost of seawater desalination and wastewater reclamation.

Initial tests suggest new nanoscale membranes with embedded nanoparticles have up to twice the productivity -- or consume 50 percent less energy -- reducing the total expense of desalinated water by as much as 25 percent. The water-loving nanoparticles embedded in hte UCLA membrane repel organics and bacteria, which tend to clog up conventional membranes over time. They also repel salt and other impurities.

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