Wits Commercial Enterprise
Overview of innovation

The technology is capable of treating high-temperature wastewater as a membrane for removing oil from wastewater

One of the key challenges with membrane filtration devices is the issue of fouling and concentration gradient build-up on the surface of the membrane, which subsequently decreases its performance. Wits researchers have developed a membrane which contains hydrophobic carbon nanotubes which repel the contaminated water, thus improving fouling properties by preventing the accumulation of contaminants.

The membrane is made up of a porous hydrophobic polymer layer which contains evenly distributed carbon nanotubes with a partial coating of a hydrophilic substance forming the hydrophilic layer. To improve the thermal stability characteristics of polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) and ensure that the membrane can handle extremely hot wastewater, it is cross-linked with maleic acid to form the hydrophilic layer.


Type of Intellectual Property protection
Innovation Opportunity Type
Water supply; sewerage, waste management and remediation activities
Natural Resources
Technology Readiness Level
TRL 6 – Prototype tested in real-world settings
Website link