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Lockheed Martin Patents an Energy-saving Reverse Osmosis Membrane

Posted on April 29, 2013 by Sterlitech Corporation There have been 4 comment(s)

The name Lockheed Martin invokes images of high tech aircraft, secret weapons, and other technologies that seem a whole lot more exciting than a reverse osmosis (RO) membrane.  However, Perforene™, Lockheed Martin’s latest innovation, promises to be an exciting new development for RO desalination. It’s made from graphene, an allotrope of carbon where the atoms arranged in hexagonal cells to make a sheet that is only one atom thick.  The next thinnest RO membrane is about 500 times thicker than Perforene™.  It is the almost impossible thinness of the membrane that makes it so exciting for RO; it takes about 100 times less energy to push water through the membrane when compared to the average RO membrane available commercially today.

The Perforene™ membrane was developed by placing holes that are one nanometer or less in diameter into the membrane.  These holes are small enough to trap the ions while dramatically improving the flow-through of water molecules, reducing clogging and pressure on the membrane.  Although it is only one atom thick, graphene is both stronger and more durable than almost any other material could be at this scale.

The combination of strength, high permeability, and excellent selectivity could make Perforene™ the key to cheaper desalination costs in plants across the globe.  And cheaper desalination can mean better access to fresh water in arid places such as North Africa, the Middle East or the Western United States. As the world’s population continues to grow, the demand for fresh water for drinking, agriculture, and industry will grow along with it. Perforene™ can make meeting those demands easier.

Perforene was developed and tested with the help of Sterlitech’s CF042 crossflow cell, a lab scale cross flow filtration unit designed to provide fast and accurate performance data with minimal amounts of product, expense, and time.  It enables researchers to study membrane performance in the small scale before committing resources to larger process scale systems.  Sterlitech offers the CF042 in different materials to meet different needs, in addition to the larger Sepa CF crossflow cells and the smaller HP4750 stirred cell.  Recently, we also began offering the Sepa and CF042 in Forward Osmosis (FO) configurations to further enable research into new water technologies.  Further details can be obtained by contacting us.


This post was posted in Water and Fluid Separation News and was tagged with bench scale, Water Treatment, Reverse Osmosis, Customer Highlight

4 Responses to Lockheed Martin Patents an Energy-saving Reverse Osmosis Membrane

  • Eric says:

    I hope this new membrane technology makes it to residential and commercial commercial market soon. It would solve well water treatment problems for so many people.
    Is perforene Chlorine resistant?


    Posted on June 16, 2013 at 7:03 pm

  • This new type technology will speed up the process and save the energy.

    Posted on June 25, 2013 at 10:24 am

  • abirami says:

    A solid block carbon water filter can selectively remove dangerous contaminants from drinking water while
    retaining healthy mineral deposits that balance the pH of drinking water.
    RO Water Purifiers in Chennai

    Posted on July 1, 2016 at 4:18 am

  • Abirami says:

    Both water filters and water purifiers work on the same mechanical principle. They first suck up raw water which is contaminated, filter out impurities ranging from sediments to micro-organisms and then dispense clean water. However there is one big difference between the two – a purifier can remove viruses and bacteria that filters cannot remove. Some purifiers use chemicals and others use an electro-static charge to kill or capture viruses.By RO Water Purifiers in Chennai

    Posted on July 11, 2016 at 5:39 am