News & Events

 October 6, 2016

Professor McGrath receives Dean's Office PumpPrimer II Grant

jProfessor Jim McGrath recently received a Dean's Office PumpPrimer II Grant for his research project titled, "Desalinization with Ultrathin Nafion Membranes." 

Project description: The World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Report has consistently ranked access to water as one of the most critical issues facing the planet. Arid and drought-strikes regions with ready access to sea water in California, Israel, India, Australia, and elsewhere are investing billions in the production of  inefficient reverse osmosis (RO)-based desalinization plants to produce drinkable water.  Increasingly, technologists are turning to nanotechnology as a means of reducing costs by fundamental changing the fundamental principles at work.  This project will test a prediction that ultrathin (100 nm thick) Nafion® membranes have the potential for desalinization with orders-of-magnitude greater efficiency than conventional reverse-osmosis (RO). This prediction is based on unexpected findings of a rate of osmotic flux of pure water across ultrathin Nafion® membranes used as eletroosomostic pumps.