Seas and oceans are the biggest water reservoirs on Earth. Since decades sea water is turned to drinking water by desalination in large scale. In
The water taken out of the sea is forced under pressure through the very fine-pore MultiboreŽ membranes and can pass through them, while undesired substances such as sand, clay, algae and even pathogenic germs are intercepted. At first glance, the ultrafiltration membranes look like thin white tubules, but the cross-section reveals their complex inner life: The fiber contains seven capillaries into which the raw water runs. The walls of the capillaries have tiny pores with a diameter of about 20 nanometers this is 500 times thinner than a filament of a spider's web. All the particles larger are retained here by the membrane. Only the purified water passes through the pores into the plastic fiber and emerges again on the outside of the fiber.
Production of the membranes requires extensive know-how and experience. The challenge is to create pores during the production process that are small enough and evenly distributed over the membrane surface, explains Dr.
For the filters to work reliably in practice, however, not only the size and distribution of the pores have to be correct, the fibers also have to be resistant. This is ensured by the honeycomb structure inside the fibers designed by the experts of the
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