High Flux Nanofiltration Membrane for Emerging Contaminant Control

EPA Contract Number: EPD14007
Title: High Flux Nanofiltration Membrane for Emerging Contaminant Control
Investigators: Fokema, Mark
Small Business: Aspen Products Group, Inc.
EPA Contact: Richards, April
Phase: I
Project Period: May 1, 2014 through April 30, 2015
Project Amount: $100,000
RFA: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) - Phase I (2014) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: SBIR - Drinking Water Treatment and Monitoring , Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)


A variety of inorganic and organic contaminants originating from municipal, agricultural and industrial wastewater sources are being found with increasing frequency in the Nation’s natural and drinking water supplies. These “emerging contaminants” include pharmaceuticals, antibiotics, steroids, hormones, flame retardants, perfluorinated compounds, personal care products, and herbicides and pesticides. Even though the concentrations of these emerging contaminants are very low, the effects on human and aquatic health of persistent exposure to these compounds are not well understood and are a source of concern. Existing technologies that remove these contaminants have high capital and operating costs, thereby limiting their use in drinking water production.

A high-flux, fouling-resistant nanofiltration membrane that is able to reject these emerging contaminants and other water-borne pollutants at a fraction of the cost of existing membranes will be developed in the proposed program. The proposed technology has the potential to achieve nearly complete emerging-contaminant removal, producing high-quality drinking water from a wide variety of water sources at reduced capital costs (saving more than 25%) and reduced operating costs (saving more than 40%) relative to current membrane treatment technologies.

In addition to its use in drinking water production, the nanofiltration membrane technology will have applications in the chemical, petroleum, pharmaceutical, food-processing and wastewater-treatment industries, among others.

Supplemental Keywords:

Nanofiltration membrane, contaminant, water pollutant, drinking water;

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final Report
  • SBIR Phase II:

    High Flux Nanofiltration Membrane for Emerging Contaminant Control  | Final Report