Thin-film membranes are a powerful tool implemented in water treatment to remove particulates, pathogens, and salts from our waters. They are used to produce potable water from seawater, treat industrial runoff, and recycle our wastewater. The feed water is pressurized through the porous plastic membranes to sieve out the unwanted material and microorganisms. Similar to medical devices, microorganisms in the water use these surfaces as an anchoring point for biofilm growth. As these films add resistance to the flow of water through the membranes, water production decreases dramatically. Treatment plants must constantly clean the polymer membrane filters and increase their energy input to meet demands of the municipalities.
The Hydrophilix coating can be tailored to be thin and porous to protect the membrane films from biofilm formation, allowing water to pass through. The coating can be tailored to be porous and allow water to flow through, retaining its anti-adhesion properties. Membranes with the Hydrophilix coating will last longer and produce more clean water at lower energy cost.