Chemical researchers from University of Tehran in association with Nanotechnology and Nanoscience Research Center of Kashan University succeeded in the production of a membrane that can be used in the separation of medical materials from hospital wastewater by using nanotechnology.
The membrane has polymeric structure and it greatly helps the economization of water purification process due to its high efficiency and lifetime.
The presence of antibiotics in the environment increases the resistant against such materials and as a result, the performance of the drugs decreases. In recent years, the use of the two methods reverse osmosis membrane and nanofiltration membrane have attracted the attention of the researchers for the separation of organic/inorganic materials and microorganisms from drinking water. The objective of researchers of this study was to produce a nanofiltration membrane that is able to separate amoxicillin from water with its high diffusivity properties.
Reza Derakhsheshpour, one of the researchers, explained the advantage of the performance of nanofiltration membrane over reverse osmosis membrane. “Reverse osmosis membranes are used for the separation of organic materials. Separation process should take place at high pressure due to the structure of the membranes, and it requires high energy consumption. In addition, the pores in the membranes are quickly blocked, and the life of the membranes becomes shorter. These problems are overcome if nanofilteration membranes are used, which have similar trapping with reverse osmosis membranes but with higher diffusivity."
Results of the research may lead to the replacement of reverse osmosis membranes by nanofiltration membranes. It both helps the preservation of energy and increases the lifetime of the membrane used in the separation of organic materials.
Results of the research have been published in Journal of Environmental Health Science and Engineering, vol. 11, issue 9, June 2013, pp. 1-10.