MORE | Fall 2018

Hydrogel polymers: An experimental study for forward osmosis desalination

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Thermo-responsive hydrogels such as PNIPAM (N-Isopropylacrylamide polymer), can be leveraged for membrane-based desalination processes due to their low LCST of 32℃.This guarantees fresh water can be recovered at a modest energy cost, as compared to other thermally based desalination processes, which require water recovery at higher temperatures. This work shall study by experimentation key process parameters involved in desalination by forward osmosis, using a draw agent consisting of a bilayer arrangement of PNIPAM and a copolymer of NIPAM and Sodium Acrylate, such as permeation rate, dewatering flux, and swelling ratio as a function of energy input into the system.

Student researcher

Portrait of Adnan Abdullahi

Adnan Abdullahi

Mechanical engineering

Hometown: Accra, Ghana

Graduation date: Spring 2019