Scientists at Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University (NTU) invented a type of nanofilter that could reduce the energy needed to treat wastewater by up to five times.
In a typical wastewater treatment process, an ultrafiltration membrane filters out small particles before a reverse-osmosis membrane is used. NTU’s proprietary nanofiltration (NF) hollow fiber membrane, however, does away with both ultrafiltration and reverse osmosis, combining the two processes. The membrane requires only 2 bars of water pressure – about as much found in a home pressure cooker – and produces water that is almost as pure as through reverse osmosis.

The technology took around two years to develop and is now being commercialized by De.Mem, which will build a pilot production plant in Singapore to manufacture the membranes. The company owns more than a dozen water treatment plants in Vietnam and Singapore.