Self-cleaning Ceramic Membranes for Removal of Natural and Synthetic Nanomaterials from Drinking Water Using Hybrid-Ozonation Membrane Filtration

National Science Foundation (homepage)

Nanoscale Interdisciplinary Research Team (homepage)

Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering (homepage)
Department of Chemical Engineering & Materials Science (homepage)
Michigan State University

Department of Civil Engineering (homepage), McMaster University

Lansing Community College (homepage)



The proposal team has come together to use an interdisciplinary approach combining new ozonation and membrane filtration technologies with recent advances in membrane science and newly available surface characterization method in order to enhance the safety of the water supply. This new hybrid technology will enable the development of a highly efficient self-cleaning membrane filtration system capable of removing nanoscale contaminants. Water pollutans targeted in this project are (1) newly synthesized nanomaterials with demonstrate cytotoxicity and (2) naturally occurring nanoparticles, which are known disinfection by-product precursors. This is the first project that addresses the removal and treatment of waters laden with synthetic nanomaerials. The project brings together a diverse research team of highly qualified researchers, including experts in membrane-based separations, the effects of ozone in water treatment, ceramics and material sciences, and surface/colloid chemistry. Joining the team is the Chair of the Science Department at Lansing Community College (LCC), one of largest community colleges in the U.S., which allows us to enhance the science curriculum in the area of nanotechnology for K-12 students and to develop a specialized nanotechnology program within LCC's chemical technician curriculum. The activities under this project will be led in a hands-on fashion by the PIs with postdoctoral and graduate assistants who will be trained to work in an interdisplinary, team-oriented environment.

The objective of this project is to build a base of fundamental knowledge pertaining to the hybrid ozonation filtration process and apply this new knowledge to develop an effective water treatment system targeting the removal of nanoparticles from water. Novel high performance membranes, an integral component of the ozonation-membrane filtration system, featuring reduced permeability and improved catalytic properties will also be developed.

Webmaster: Jeonghwan Kim (, Michigan State University. Last revised: 4/03/07