100 Years of Engineering HKU 100 Faculty of Engineering 100 Years of Engineering

HKU Engineering Centenary Exhibition

Objectives 研究目標
Membrane filtration, which separates particulate matters from the liquid by using a thin semi-permeable membrane, has a number of indispensible industrial applications which may include products harvest, purification and concentration as well as water and wastewater treatment, owing to its high reliability, high compactness and relatively low operation cost.

Currently, most membranes are fabricated of polymeric materials such as PVDF, PES and PAN, which are usually poorly hydrophilic, and tend to be fouled by organic matters and/or microorganisms, resulting in deteriorated filtration performance. Increase of the surface hydrophilicity of membranes has become a routine practice during membrane fabrication. Most of the previous approaches involve the formation of hydrophilic layer/segments of polymeric nature, which are usually not sufficiently chemical-resistant.

Our project aims at developing a cost-effective approach to the increase of the anti-fouling capability of PVDF membrane by embedding alumina nanomaterials on the surface. Alumina, as PVDF itself, is well-known for their innocence and inertness to harsh chemical attacks.

膜過濾是一種應用半滲透性的薄膜從水相主體中分離顆粒物質的工藝。膜過濾在一些工業應用領域,比如產品收集、純化和濃縮以及水處理和廢水處理,發揮著不可替代的作用,這歸功於該工藝的高可靠性、簡潔性和較低的運行費用。

目前,大多數膜都由親水性較差的聚合物材料,比如聚偏二氟乙烯、聚醚砜和聚丙烯腈,制造而成。結果,在應用過程中容易受到水相中有機類物質和微生物的污染而導致膜過濾性能的大幅降低。因此,為抑制膜污染,增加膜表面親水性已成為膜制造過程中必不可少的一環。到目前為止的大多數方法是在膜表面形成親水性聚合物片斷或薄層。但是這些親水性聚合物在化學上並不穩定,容易被氧化或水解,因此隻能發揮短期作用。氧化鋁化學性質極其穩定,可以抵抗各類化學物質的侵襲。

我們研究項目的目標是開發一種應用氧化鋁等無機材料用於提高聚偏二氟乙烯膜抗污染性能的方法。該方法將氧化鋁納米材料植入膜表面,具有長久的抗污染功能。

Post-treatment of the PVDF membrane

Contributions 研究成果
In addition to the increasing applications traditionally in chemical engineering and medical treatment, membrane filtration is expected to find its new territories such as water treatment and wastewater reclamation, primarily attributed to its high reliability and high compactness. However, it is widely recognized that membrane fouling, which greatly reduces the membrane filterability, is the primary obstacle to the faster growth of membrane application. Membrane fouling triggers frequent membrane cleaning and membrane replacement that greatly increase the operational cost. Low-cost, but still reliable, long-lived and anti-fouling membranes are desirably required.
膜過濾工藝除了其在傳統應用領域比如化工和醫療快速發展以外,在水處理和污水回用等新領域也將有不可估量的應用前景。這主要歸功於膜過濾的高可靠性和簡潔性。但是,普遍認為,膜污染是限制膜過濾廣泛應用的最主要障礙。膜污染極大地降低膜本身的過水能力。因此,膜污染的發生通常伴隨著頻繁的膜清洗甚至膜組件換,這勢必大大增加膜過濾工藝的運行費用。廉價、耐用和抗污染膜的制造是急需發展的方向。

Biofilm formation

Team Members 研究成員
Department of Civil Engineering: Prof X.Y. Li, Dr. K. Shih and Dr. X.M. Wang
土木工程系: 李曉岩教授、施凱閔博士、王小博士

Project Sponsor 贊助機構
Innovation and Technology Fund, Innovation and Technology Commission 創新科技署創新及科技基金