Environmental Protection

Naval Research Gives NanoH2O $400,000 Grant

NanoH2O, a provider of membranes for desalination and water reuse, has been awarded a $400,000 grant from the U.S. Office of Naval Research (ONR) to evaluate its high-flux membranes for shipboard desalination systems.

Tests conducted by ONR at the U.S. Navy Seawater Desalination Test Facility at Port Hueneme in California will accelerate NanoH2O’s research into fouling resistance as well as the optimization of desalination systems for high-flux operations. This research will also provide a benchmark for comparing the technology to existing reverse osmosis (RO) membranes.

“NanoH2O’s ultimate objective is to alter the fundamental economics of commercial desalination by addressing productivity and fouling issues inherent in traditional RO membranes,” says Jeff Green, chief executive officer of NanoH2O. “These funds will go a long way toward validating our novel technology and complementing our research as we demonstrate the advantages of our membranes for shipboard systems.”

Operating in near-coastal waters, naval ships seek to address membrane-fouling issues with desalination systems that are robust under a variety of challenging conditions encountered by the military. However, traditional RO membranes tend to naturally foul over time, leading to irreversible productivity limitations and costly replacements.

With nanomaterials encapsulated directly into the membrane’s polymer layer, NanoH2O’s membranes exhibit high permeability (flux) while maintaining industry-standard rejection of salt and other contaminants. Additionally, decreasing the physical size of the units is critical to shipboard and forward operations. These energy-efficiency advantages enable desalination systems to be built with up to a 40 percent smaller footprint when compared to conventional shipboard systems.

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