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Membrane Technology

Helium Ion Micrographs of cross-sections of CNM-composite membranes
Various applications of CNM-composite membranes
Possible further membrane development

Fundamental research at Bielefeld University (Yang et al., ACS Nano 12, 4695 (2018)) has shown that CNMs have record high permeance for water while blocking nearly everything else like salt, small organic molecules and nanoparticles with exception of helium. Combined with a high intrinsic pore density (one sub-nanometre pore per square nanometre), this allows us to develop radically new separation technologies.

We at CNM Technologies were successful in transferring this academically proven separation performance of Carbon Nanomembranes into a concept for high-performance waterfiltration membranes. By combining CNMs with a polymer support with micron-sized pores, this CNM-based composite membrane maintains most of the performance of the nanometre-thin CNM. Introducing Carbon Nanomembranes in water treatment is not just a simple replacement of a polymeric membrane with a thinner one. CNMs disrupts membrane technology by providing a molecular thin membrane with unprecedented permeance and selectivity.

The high performance of CNMs enable separation processes hitherto not attainable and allows the redesign of existing water filtration systems to manifold their energy-efficiency, longevity and reduce their size.

We have demonstrated on the laboratory scale, that our membranes are useful for water polishing and forward osmosis, favourably comparing to competing technologies.