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.




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.

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