Photonics - Projects - Enhanced-MUMs

Enhanced MUlti-Functional Membranes for Water Treatment and Desalination

Enhanced-MUMs is a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship (IF) Project funded under H2020-EU.1.3.2 (Grant agreement ID: 800317, CORDIS website:

Experienced Researcher: Rania Morsi

Supervisor: Barbara Ventura

Enhanced-MUMs is a multidisciplinary project in the area of water treatment and desalination which targets the combination of enhanced structural properties and light-induced antifouling and antimicrobial peoperties in a polymeric membrane.
The project breakthrough relies on the complementary expertise of the Experienced Researcher on polymer chemistry and nanofibers fabrication and the Supervisor's team in ISOF on photosensitizers for photodynamic treatments.
The economy and the environmental aspects of the approach are guaranteed by the natural based commercial polymeric material chosen for the realization of the membrane: cellulose acetate.

Access to clean water continues to be the most urgent and pressing global issue where hiking economic and ecological needs have pressed for more water-efficient technologies. The increasing scarcity of freshwater sources and the global demand for water are expected to grow in the oncoming decades, which prompt the need to develop alternative water supplies, including seawater desalination, reuse and recycling of wastewater.

Membrane-based separation technologies for water treatment and desalination are playing an increasingly important role to provide adequate water resources of desirable quality for a wide spectrum of designated applications. Accordingly, research, development and commercialization of membranes and membrane processes are critically required. The ideal membrane should provide high flux, improved stability and resistance to fouling. Also it should be as thin as possible, mechanically robust to maximize permeability, chemically inert and must retain a high salt rejection rate throughout its service life. Membrane-based desalination techniques are currently considered as more environmentally friendly and energy-efficient than thermal desalination methods such as multistage and multiple-effect distillation.

The advancements of material science and engineering reveal the potentials to solve real-world practical problems and heighten the current technologies. The engagement of multidisciplinary research areas into the commercial membrane systems offers an opportunity to refine and optimize current techniques as well as providing new insights and novel methods to handle the current challenges.

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