Protection of feedspacers by laser induced graphene technology

#Feedspacer #LIG #antifouling
Seen in the figure is a black colored polymer mesh that is being rolled into a spiral wound membrane module for traetment of brackish water. The module is approx. 30 cm long. This black coating consists of an electrically conductive carbon material named laser-induced graphene.
A polymer mesh is coated with a electrically conductive carbon layer consisting of laser-induced graphene material.

Laser induced graphene coatings with antimicrobial properties have been developed that protect feedspacers in membrane filtration modules from microbial fouling. Because the coating material is electrically conductive, electrical currents can be applied to enhance the antifouling efficiency.

Laser-induced graphene (LIG) is a conductive carbon material that can be generated on surfaces of many types of polymers using a common laser. The process is low cost because it consumes only a minimum amount of electrical energy and is very environmentally friendly compared to other methods to generate graphene nanomaterials as it works without solvents or acids and does not produce waste. Moreover it is very sustainable since recycled polymers can be used. 

This LIG material was incorporated into a coating paste/paint, which can be commercialized. To demonstrate the applicability of the coating material, a polymer mesh that is commonly used as a spacer component in a membrane filtration module was coated with the laser-induced graphene coating. This LIG spacer was incorporated into a membrane filtration module and showed reduced microbial growth on both the spacer and the adjacent membrane. The innovative nature of this product includes the creation of an electrically conductive spacer, whose electrification further enhances the antibacterial and antifouling effect. This technology might be used in water filtration or purification technologies to reduce the risk of plant contamination and ensure the production of (drinking) water with low microbial load.

Water resource: Drinking water, Groundwater, Process water, Rainwater, Salt water, Surface water, Treated water, Wastewater
Type of product:
  • Technologies & processes
TRL: 4
    TRL (Technology Readiness Level)
  • TRL 1 - Basic principles observed
  • TRL 2 - Technology concept formulated
  • TRL 3 - Experimental proof of concept
  • TRL 4 - Technology validated in lab
  • TRL 5 - Technology validated in relevant environment (industrially relevant environment in the case of key enabling technologies)
  • TRL 6 - Technology demonstrated in relevant environment (industrially relevant environment in the case of key enabling technologies)
  • TRL 7 - System prototype demonstration in operational environment
  • TRL 8 - System complete and qualified
  • TRL 9 - Actual system proven in operational environment (competitive manufacturing in the case of key enabling technologies; or in space)
Application sector: Agriculture, Cities and municipalities, Industry, Natural water environment, Water resource management
Funding measure: DE-IL-WaTec
Project: LIG-Feedspacer

Contact and partners


  • Zuckerberg Institute for Water Research, Department of Desalination and Water Treatment, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev,
  • Sede Boker Campus, Midreshet,
  • 84990 Ben Gurion
https://in.bgu.ac.il/en/Pages/default.aspx
Prof. Dr. Christopher Arnusch

Zuckerberg Institute for Water Research, Department of Desalination and Water Treatment, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev,
Ben Gurion
Ruhr-Universität Bochum,
Bochum

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