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)


Characterization of ceramic membranes

Ceramic membranes have advantages over polymeric membranes as they (1) have a longer service life, (2) are durable and less prone to failuer due to rupturing and (3) foul less. Most of all, ceramic membranes are ozone-resistant more than polymeric membranes commonly used in the water industry. Nevertheless, there has been limited interest in ceramic membranes for municipal drinking water applications, because of the high cost of ceramic membrane filtration systems. Recent advances in membrane fabrication techniques have enabled the manufacture of lower cost per unit membrane surface area. Given the advantages of ceramic membranes, they are likely to become competative with polymeric membranes as advances in fabrication method and performance further reduces costs for drinking water treatment applications.

Fabrication of ceramic membranes with metal oxides nano-particles

Many metal oxides are known to catalyze ozone decomposition. Metal oxides that are of particularly interests, because of their low toxicity and suitability for fabricating membranes, include: titatinum dixoide, zirconium oxide, iron oxide or manganese dixoide. The fabrication of ceramic membranes on porous supports present a challenge, as these supports are rough on the nanoscale level. Also the membrane must be continuous and relatively free of defects, have a high permeability and good rejection for NOM. Using layer-by-layer technique, we fabricated an iron oxide coated membrane that has excellent performance characteristics. These membranes were very effective for reducing disinfection by-products formation in a simulated water treatment system.

Webmaster: Jeonghwan Kim (, Michigan State University. Last revised: 09/19/06