Grad student seeks solutions to drinking water access in the tiniest of places

Global water demand is estimated to grow by more than 40% by 2050, leaving about 1.8 billion people in water-deficient regions. Brandon Cordeiro (ChemE MASc candidate) and his supervisor Professor Edgar Acosta, along with their colleagues from the University of Toronto, have developed new, thin self-assembly coatings that could increase wastewater filtration productivity and decrease operational costs of providing clean water.

Cordeiro’s coating have been shown to increase the pure water flux and permeability of PVDF commercial membranes by 10-fold while leaving the original Molecular Weight Cut-Off (MWCO) of the membrane virtually unaltered.

It is Cordeiro’s hope that this technology will eventually lead to providing an economic and convenient method of developing community/residential equipment for providing potable water to areas currently under drinking-water advisory, including improving access to fresh water to hundreds of Canadian First Nation communities.