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Fast reverse osmosis using boron nitride and carbon nanotubes M. E. Suk, A. V. Raghunathan, and N. R. Alurua
 

Summary: Fast reverse osmosis using boron nitride and carbon nanotubes
M. E. Suk, A. V. Raghunathan, and N. R. Alurua
Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering, Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and
Technology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Illinois 61801, USA
Received 28 November 2007; accepted 17 March 2008; published online 4 April 2008
We investigate reverse osmosis through commonly used polymeric and advanced inorganic
nanotube based semipermeable membranes by performing nonequilibrium molecular dynamics
simulations. Simulations indicate that there is a significantly higher water flux through boron-nitride
nanotube BNNT and carbon nanotube CNT compared to a polymethyl methacrylate PMMA
pore, and a slightly higher water flux through BNNT as compared to CNT. The calculated
permeation coefficient is in reasonable agreement with the theoretical single-file "hopping" model.
Potential of mean force analysis indicates that the irregular nature of PMMA pore surface can cause
significant localized energy barriers inside the pore, thereby reducing the water flux. 2008
American Institute of Physics. DOI: 10.1063/1.2907333
Reverse osmosis RO is a widely used membrane tech-
nology for desalination and industrial water reuse. The fact
that water is essential to human life has led to research on
energy efficient membranes to provide high water flux and
salt rejection rates. Early studies on polymethyl methacrylate
PMMA membranes revealed higher water fluxes compared

  

Source: Aluru, Narayana R. - Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

 

Collections: Engineering; Materials Science