In all living cells, channels transporting water – aquaporins – exist. Aquaporins are proteins, which only transport water i.e. pure H2O molecules. Aquaporins have a unique selectivity and are extremely efficient being nature’s own water transporting systems. The purpose of the MEMBAQ project is to couple two research spearheads – nanobiotechnology and membranes - with focus on industrially exploiting the unique features of biomimetic membranes. Recombinant aquaporin molecules are incorporated in different types of industrial membranes for water filtration.
Global needs for pure water and renewable energy are drivers for the test applications of the new biomimetic membranes. Membranes for water purification, wastewater reclamation and re-use, and salinity power production will be designed and tested. Future applications could be industrial use within filtration and separation of fluids and gasses other than water using other types of “selective” recombinant proteins. Thus, the project will also stimulate further research and technology development in nano-biotechnological membranes.