NanoSun, a two–year-old start-up from Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University (NTU), has developed a unique 3D printed membrane to clean waste water and the company has already found its first big customer. The China Commerce Group for International Economic Cooperation are spending $3.14 million dollars to treat one million liters of waste water coming from the 20 sq km Qingdao National High-Tech Industrial Development Zone in Shandong, China. Beginning with the first million liters this August, the partnership is expected to last for the next three to four years and is estimated to treat a total of about 100 million liters.
The start-up’s 3D printed membrane is a self-cleaning filter able to clean waste water that conventional membranes are just not able to treat. NanoSun’s patented system, designed and produced at Nanyang Technological Institute, is not only able to reclaim water, but also meets discharge standards, lasting twice as long as conventional membranes. Highly resistant to breakage, it allows for unprecedented flow rate, ten times faster than current water filtration membranes and has anti-biofouling and anti-bacterial properties. Unlike most water filtration membranes, NanoSun’s membrane is made from titanium dioxide. This gives the membrane much more durability and resistance to extreme heat and cold.
Investing in smart water reclamation technology is an essential part of encouraging industries to reduce water usage by recycling. Darren Sun, both a founder of NanoSun and the Chairman of the Chemical Industries Specialty Group of the International Water Association, said, “What we will demonstrate at Qingdao will be an affordable but effective technology that can turn polluted and industrial wastewater into a source of clean water, without the generation of secondary waste which other systems have.”
So, not only is this excellent new technology coming out of China, but it is technology that serves an important purpose. NanoSun plans to bring their membrane technology to a wider market in the near future, so let’s hope to see other industries in other nations investing in cleaning up their waste water.