Nano Sun Launches Water Treatment Membrane Facility
AsianScientist (Jul. 19, 2018) – Nano Sun, a water technology start-up founded by a scientist from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore), has launched a facility that relies on three-dimensional (3D) printing to manufacture water treatment membranes.
The new 3D printing plant is the culmination of a two-decade effort by its co-founder, Associate Professor Darren Sun of NTU Singapore, to develop and deploy his research innovations in the fields of materials science, water chemistry and advanced manufacturing. Since 2015, the company has designed, commissioned and delivered over 15 water treatment systems and plants to various governments and companies in Singapore, China, Philippines and Indonesia.
Unlike conventional membrane-manufacturing processes that use acids to make polymers porous, Nano Sun 3D prints millions of nanofibers layered on top of each other, then compresses them into a thin membrane. This results in a filter that has a faster water flow rate than conventional membranes despite having a similar pollutant rejection rate.
The membrane allows for the construction of smaller wastewater treatment plants, thereby lowering the costs for land, infrastructure and labor. The membrane is also more resistant to breakage and biofouling. This means they require less maintenance and are more cost efficient.
The first customers to use this next-generation membrane will be two of the largest semiconductor multinational companies in Singapore and a new municipal wastewater treatment plant in China, which can treat up to 20 million liters of water per day—the equivalent of eight Olympic-sized swimming pools.
Nano Sun’s managing director and co-founder Mr. Wong Ann Chai said that the company’s current focus lies in finding the right market applications and validating the membranes in a wide range of industrial and municipal wastewater recovery contexts.
“Now that our technology has been validated, we need to able to provide the most cost-effective solution for our next phase of growth. The international market demand for industrial wastewater treatment is going strong since most countries do not want to pollute their scarce surface water and underground water resources,” said Mr. Wong.
Over the next three years, Nano Sun will expand its manpower from a Singaporean team of 18 engineers and staff to about 80 members. Its membrane applications will mainly be deployed in China, Indonesia and Philippines.
Source: Nanyang Technological University.
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