New Nano-Structured Polymeric Membranes for the Treatment and Purification of Water

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Resource or Project Abstract

Membrane filtration is a well-known means of producing clean water. In this project we have developed polymer-coated membranes which can be used to remove the heavy metals chromium and copper from water based samples. The modified membranes were investigated for their potential to selectively transport or exchange nitrate ions. There is considerable concern about the level of nitrate in water with the Nitrates Directive (1991/676/EEC), the National Nitrates Action Programme and the on-going public consultation on Irelands Nitrate Plan, and the EU Water Framework Directive (2000/60/EC). The mandatory safe level of nitrate in drinking water is set at 50 mg L-1. The requirement for the levels of chromium (VI) and copper (II) to be monitored in Irish water was clearly outlined in the Water Framework Directive. Chromium (VI) is a highly toxic metal ion that is well known for its contribution to a variety of health problems. It is a hazardous pollutant produced by a number of industries, which can contaminates groundwater, and there is a need to ensure its removal from industrial waste to within the regulatory limits. Copper, when consumed in relatively large amounts, can cause symptoms of acute food poisoning, with additional health concerns over long term exposure. It is toxic to aquatic species and is associated with significant bioaccumulation. Copper is commonly used in electrical and plumbing applications, and is a waste product of a range of industries. There is a mandatory limit of 50 µg L-1 chromium and 2 mg L-1 copper in drinking water, as set in the European Communities (Drinking Water) (No. 2) Regulations 2007. A disadvantage of membrane technologies is that they can suffer from fouling due to dissolved matter in the water such as proteins and humic acid. We have attached coatings to membranes in order to reduce the extent of protein fouling.

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Contact Information for This Resource

Dr. Denise Rooney
National University of Ireland Maynooth (NUIM)

Ms. Orla Power
National University of Ireland Maynooth

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Attachment Name and Download Link
Att: 1    STRIVE_116_-_Summary_of_Findings.pdf  (0.15 Mb)
End of Project Report    STRIVE_116_Rooney_Denise_epr.pdf  (2.2 Mb)

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Author(s)Rooney, D. Power, O.
Title Of WebsiteSecure Archive For Environmental Research Data
Publication InformationNew Nano-Structured Polymeric Membranes for the Treatment and Purification of Water
Name of OrganisationEnvironmental Protection Agency Ireland
Electronic Address or URL
Unique Identifier8a1a76e0-46cc-11e3-b233-005056ae0019
Date of AccessLast Updated on SAFER: 2024-07-14

An example of this citation in proper usage:

Rooney, D. Power, O.   "New Nano-Structured Polymeric Membranes for the Treatment and Purification of Water". Associated datasets and digitial information objects connected to this resource are available at: Secure Archive For Environmental Research Data (SAFER) managed by Environmental Protection Agency Ireland (Last Accessed: 2024-07-14)


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Access Information For This Resource

SAFER-Data Display URL
Resource Keywordsconducting polymer, nanofibre, water treatment, chromium, copper, fouling
EPA/ERTDI/STRIVE Project Code2009-ET-MS-8-S2
EPA/ERTDI/STRIVE Project ThemeWaste and Resource Management
Resource Availability: Any User Can Download Files From This Resource
Limitations on the use of this ResourceThe reliability, quality and completeness of data gained through SAFER-Data is intended to be used in an education or research context. These data are not guaranteed for use in operational or decision-making settings. The EPA and SAFER-Data requests an acknowledgement (in publications, conference papers, etc) from those who use data/information received with SAFER-Data. This acknowledgement should state the original creators of the data/information. An automated citation is provided below. It is not ethical to publish data/information without proper attribution or co-authorship. The data/information are the intellectual property of the collecting investigator(s). The data/information may be freely downloaded and used by all who respect the restrictions and requirements in the previous paragraphs.

The Ph.D. thesis will be upload after it is made availbable on the NUI Maynoth library web page. The thesis has yet to be examined. The thesis will not be available on the NUI Maynooth web page for at least 2 years after submission of the final copy.
Number of Attached Files (Publicly and Openly Available for Download): 2
Project Start Date Tuesday 1st September 2009 (01-09-2009)
Earliest Recorded Date within any attached datasets or digital objects Tuesday 1st September 2009 (01-09-2009)
Most Recent Recorded Date within any attached datasets or digital objects Sunday 1st September 2013 (01-09-2013)
Published on SAFERWednesday 6th November 2013 (06-11-2013)
Date of Last EditFriday 3rd January 2014 at 16:43:35 (03-01-2014)
Datasets or Files Updated On Friday 3rd January 2014 at 16:43:35 (03-01-2014)

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Geographical and Spatial Information Related To This Resource

Description of Geographical Characteristics of This Project or Dataset
There is no geographical extent relevant to this project. The project was lab-based.

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Supplementary Information About This Resource

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Lineage information about this project or dataset
Water security and quality is a key issue for Ireland to safeguard the health of its people and ecosystems, and to foster economic development. Protecting the quality of water resources and the sustainable use of resources, including water, are key environmental goals in the EPA 2020 Vision strategy document, and are also in line with the Flagship initiative of the Europe 2020 strategy for a resource efficient Europe. The fifth State of Environment EPA report, Ireland?s Environment 2012 ? An Assessment, reports that Ireland?s water quality is better than the average when compared with other EU member states, and there is evidence of general improvement in Ireland?s water quality. However Ireland must confront significant challenges in meeting targets set for 2015, 2021 and 2027 as required by the Water Framework Directive. It is a strategic priority of the EPA Strategic Plan 2013-2015 to maintain a vibrant and relevant environmental research programme to influence policy, identify pressures and develop solutions to key environmental challenges such as water quality and a sustainable environment. The EU Joint Programming Initiative ?Water challenges for a changing world? is a strategic initiative to pool National research resources of member states in this important area. In addition, the support of research into nanotechnologies will enable Ireland to benefit from the enormous growth forecasted for the economic impact of these technologies, as highlighted by the Forfás 2010 report ?Ireland?s Nanotechnology Commercialisation Framework 2010 - 2014?.
Supplementary Information
This project involved a laboratory scale study into improving the properties of commercial water filtration membranes for removal of metal ions such as copper and chromium from water, forming ion selective smart membranes and the reduction of fouling.
Doyle, R.; Breslin, C.; Power, O.; Rooney, D. (2012) Electrochemical Characterisation of Polypyrrole Doped with p-Sulfonatocalix[4]arene, Electroanalysis, 24, 293-302

McCarthy, C.; McGuinness, N.; Carolan, P.; Fox, C.; Alcock-Earley, B.; Breslin, C.; Rooney, D. (2013) Electrochemical Deposition of Hollow N- substituted Polypyrrole Microtubes from an Acoustically formed Emulsion, Macromolecules, 46, 1008-1016

-> The research in this project has indicated potential for the development of new environmentally advantageous technologies for water treatment using coated membranes.

->The combination of a conducting coated membrane and electrochemical reduction is an attractive alternative, recyclable technology for the removal of chromium(VI) or copper(II) ions from water.

->A number of the coated membranes showed improved anti-fouling properties compared to unmodified commercial membranes.

->This research falls under the priority area Processing Technologies and Novel Materials as highlighted by the Forfás Report of the Research Prioritisation Steering Group.

->This project involved a laboratory scale study into improving the properties of commercial water filtration membranes for removal of metal ions such as copper and chromium from water, forming ion selective smart membranes and the reduction of protein fouling.
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