Available fresh water supplies continue to dwindle as water demand rises from expanding world population, urbanization and industrial development. To meet global water needs, new membrane technologies are sought that allow for cost effective recycling of municipal, industrial, and commercial wastewaters. Membranes with molecular-scale fractionation capability are of further interest for low-cost separations in the food, chemical and pharmaceutical industries.
"Nearly 1 billion people lack access to safe water and nearly 2 billion are without adequate sanitation. Over 2 million deaths a year are attributed to unsafe water, mostly due to waterborne diarrheal diseases. Ninety percent of those who die from diarrheal diseases are children in developing countries.