Saudi scientists eye date waste for filtration membranes

February 28, 2022 |

In Saudi Arabia, researchers at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology are using date waste to create filtration membranes for industrial separations. 

Conventional membranes are efficient, but are made from fossil-based materials and often require toxic chemicals to produce.  “Date seeds are abundantly available and renewable, with approximately 90% of the world’s cultivated date palm trees grown in the Middle East and North Africa,” says Gyorgy Szekely, who leads the team at KAUST. “This makes the commercial use of our date seed membrane promising.” 

The membranes demonstrated excellent performance for organic solvent nanofiltration, which are used in processes spanning pharmaceuticals, petroleum, metal working and food. The team is now working to prove the technology. 

“Several stages are still needed before the membrane can be commercialized,” says postdoc Rifan Hardian.  “This will involve developing a strategy for date seed mass collection from producers and upscaling membrane fabrication.”

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Category: Chemicals & Materials

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